Skip to main content

Full text of "She stoops to conquer : a comedy"

See other formats


' (^^^/^m:^^ 


Oliver GoLDS/niTn 

She Stoops 
TO Conquer 





" Goodness ! "What a quantity of superfluous silk hast 
thou got about thee, girl!" 41 

"Why, gentlemen, if you know neither the road you 
are going, nor where you are, nor the road you 
came, the first thing I have to inform you is, that — 
you have lost your way." 55 

"Then, ecod, your worship must not tell the story of 
Ould Grouse in the gun-room." Co 

"By no means, sir. Your ceremony will displease 
Her." 87 

"I protest, sir, I never was more agreeably entertained 
in all my life." 95 

" Pray, how do you like this head, Mr. Hastings?" 99 

" I detest garnets," 121 

" Yes, child, I think I did call." 131 

"Ha! ha! ha! old Mr. Hardcastle's house an inn !".... 151 

"Charles, Charles, how hast thou deceived me!" 191 

" So Constance NeviUe may marry whom she pleases, 

and Tony Lumpkin is his own man again 1" 197 



It is about time that we gave up our patron- 
ising attitude towards one of our greatest liter- 
ary artists of the eighteenth century. Be- 
cause Boswell could not appreciate the viva- 
city of the Irish temperament, that is no rea- 
son why we should regard Oliver Goldsmith 
as a half-insj)ired fool who blundered into 
producing two of the most vital literary mas- 
terpieces in our language. Even if Goldsmith 
was a man so inept and vain as Boswell repre- 
sents him to be, it would by no means follow 
that he did not obtain greatness as a writer. 
As a rule, authors reserv^e their best selves for 
their productions, and their admirers are 
almost invariably disappointed on meeting 
them personally; and if Goldsmith was vain, 
lie would only be sharing this quality with the 
majority of ^\Titers, whose very choice of pro- 
fession implies a certain consciousness of supe- 
riority, which may or may not be justified. 

6 Introduction. 

But in Goldsmith's case the presentation of 
him given by Boswell, and in a minor degree 
"by Mrs. Piozzi, is now recognised to be an ill- 
informed and ignorant travesty on the man's 
true nature. The Scotch pedant and the little 
widow could not appreciate the subtleties of 
Irish humor. That is the whole truth of the 
matter. Still, their portraiture of the man has 
undoubtedly ajffected our judgment of him as 
a writer; and the last word on Oliver Gold- 
smith is with David Garrick, who declared he 
wrote like an angel and spoke like poor Poll. 
"No, not the last word, for Goldsmith had his 
Retaliation for the epigram, and gave better 
than he got. Indeed, "Eetaliation'^ would be 
by itself sufficient to stamp Goldy as a con- 
summate artist and student of human nature. 
The Vicar of W airfield must always be in- 
scribed on Goldsmith's passport to fame. It 
was almost the first step on the homeward 
journey to Xature, not alone in English litera- 
ture, but even in European. True, Rousseau 
was before him; but the Xature of Rousseau 
was quite an artificial product, and no one 

Introduction. 7 

would accuse the personages of his tales of 
being drawn from the human character of 
everyday life. Goldsmith in the Vicar 
sounded some of the tenderest and deepest 
notes on an instrument so simple, that it is 
with difficulty that we see the Art in the 
result. "We are like Partridge judging Gar- 
rick, ''That's not acting. That's how anybody 
would look and feel if he saw his father's 
ghost." I have spoken of Goldsmith's Euro- 
pean influence, and in doing so I was thinking 
of the epoch-making effect the Vicar had 
upon Goethe, when Herder translated it to 
him in their undergraduate days at Stra&burg. 
Years after, in his autobiography, the great 
poet, at the height of his European fame, told 
how the simple tale had roused his admiration, 
and formed his literary ideals just at his most 
impressionable moment. Werthcr, and ner- 
mann iind Dorothea, still testify as much to 
Goldsmith's as to Rousseau's influence. 

The same qualities which gave this com- 
manding position to the Vicar of WaJcc field ^ 
both in English and in European literature, 

8 Introduction. 

are exemplified in Goldsmith's comedies. 
The J, like the immortal T'/car, are cuts from 
the joint of Human !N'ature, and we can cut 
and come again to them. In some ways in- 
deed they hold a more remarkable position. 
After all, besides the Vicar, there is Clarissa^ 
Tom Jones, and Hiimplirey CUnlccr that vie 
with the Vicar in the supreme quality of read- 
ableness even to the present dav. But almost 
eA^erv one of the plays that strutted their brief 
hour on the English stage of the eighteenth 
century are dead beyond all hope of resusci- 
tation. We can now modify Pope's lines and 

•* Cato's long wig, flower'd gown, and lacquered chair, 
No longer shake the stage, or make the people stare.'* 

We can retort on the Scotch their tri- 
umphant cry, and ask, ^'Whar's your Johnnie 
Home noo?" Jane Shore has long since died 
in the last ditch, and The Conscious Lovers 
have been unconscious for a long time. Xo 
acting manager would nowadays be happy 
with either the Beggar^ s Opera or the Heir 

Introduction. 9 

at Law. Two comedies of the eighteenth 
century, and two alone, still hold the stage, 
both written by Irishmen — She Stoops to 
Conquer J and The School for Scandal. 

It is worth while perhaps inquiring into the 
cause of this contrast. Art is the make- 
believe of grown-up children. Every form of 
Art has its own conventions, by which it pro- 
duces its pleasing illusions; and of all the con- 
ventions of Art, the dramatic ones are the 
most delicate. We have to breathe on them 
softly, or else they die in an hour. It is the 
dramatist's object to get us, his audience, in- 
side the frame of his picture. We must in 
sj)irit sit at the side of the stage, as they did 
in reality in the old days. The slightest in- 
congruity, a word or gesture that reminds ua 
that we are on the other side of the footlights,, 
and the illusion disappears. With a tragedy 
or a romantic drama, the need for this is per- 
haps not so obvious. There is the frank ap« 
peal of the author to us to adopt his con*- 
mentions from the start. The whole action is; 
taken upon a higher plane with hunaan. avails. 

10 Introduction. 

which are so remote from the events of or- 
dinary life that we almost adopt the con- 
ventions of the drama, if by an unlucky 
chance we happen to be spectators of a 
tragedy in real life, which, as the very phrase 
implies, we are apt to take as something theat- 

But with a comedy it is different. There 
we are dealing with human nature in some of 
its ordinary aspects, and we must enter fully 
into the conventions of the stage if we are to 
appreciate the comic spirit. Here the slightest 
faltering may destroy the illusion, and put us 
outside the frame. The change in manners 
makes it especially difficult for a comedy of 
manners to appeal successfully to two differ- 
ent generations. It must be founded on some- 
thing more than current folly to deserve re- 
vival. It must aj^peal to the more universal 
aspects of human nature if it is to do more 
than while away a passing hour. Goldsmith's 
comedies, or at any rate one of them — I need 
not say which — fully answer to this require- 

Introduction. 11 

The times were little propitious for a return 
to nature on the English stage. Comedy iu 
those days, and there, meant little more than 
a re-hash of lloliere, with a dash of British 
farce thrown in. Garrick's own taste led him 
into the direction of the comedies of ''Hu- 
mors/' and Abel Drugger was his greatest 
success in the comic line. Garrick had a 
chance of producing both of Goldsmith's 
plays, yet he threw his luck away ; and but for 
the rivalry of the two great actor-managers of 
their time, neither The Good Natur^d Man or 
She Stoops to Conquer might have made 
their appearance on the English stage. 

When Goldsmith began writing for the 
London stage, this was practically controlled 
by the two "Patent Theatres" of Covent Gar- 
den and Drury Lane. Garrick ruled over 
Drurv^Lane, and his success there had reduced 
the rival house to great straits. The latest blow 
had been given by Colman and Garrick's joint 
production. The Clandestine Marriage. 
Rich's death had eclipsed the glory of the 
nation so far as the house at Covent Garden 

12 Introduction. 

was concerned, and Garrick for the moment 
(1767) was the despot of the stage. Despots 
and authors do not always hit it off, as Fred- 
erick the Great and Voltaire had been re- 
cently showing the world; and Garrick and 
Goldsmith, on a smaller scale, were now to 
give another example of the incongruity of 
such a union. 

From the scanty details of the negotiations 
between the two, it is clear that Garrick was 
influenced in his reluctance to accept The 
Good-Natiir^dManyeYen on Johnson's recom- 
mendation, by a touch of rivalry as an author, 
as well as by the fact that the only part suited 
to him — that of Croaker — did not stand out 
prominently enough for an actor-manager. 
Goldsmith proceeds by the method of foils. 
The good-nature and unpretentiousness of 
Iloneywood was to be brought out by contrast 
with the ill-nature of Cl*oaker on the one 
hand, and the braggadocio of Jack Lofty on 
the other. In Goldsmith's conception of his 
hero's character, Lofty was as necessary as a 
foil as Croaker; but if Garrick was to play the 

Introduction. 13 

latter character, the comic interest would be 
divided between him and Lofty, and this did 
not suit the actor-manager, who wanted the 
limelight to play upon him alone. It was 
upon this point that the negotiations between 
Garrick and Goldsmith made wreck. He at- 
tempted to get out of the promise which he 
had made to the author to produce the play, 
by suggesting that the points in discussion be^ 
tween them should be submitted to an arbi- 
trator. But as the arbitrator he suggested was 
Whitehead — one of Mr. Alfred Austin's pre- 
decessors in the Laureateship, and at that time 
^^Reader" for Drury Lane — Goldsmith na- 
turally refused so prejudiced a judge. ^ 

But just at the moment when negotiations 
were thus broken off between Goldsmith and 
Garrick, an event occurred which enabled 
Goldsmith to introduce a healthy spirit of com- 
petition with regard to his comedy. Beard, 

^ In this account I follow John Foster's admi- 
rable description of the negotiations in the six- 
teenth chapter of his brilliant Biognraphy of Gold- 

14 Introduction. 

the patentee of Covent Garden, was willing 
to dispose of liis patent; and George Colman, 
who had also become dissatisfied with Gar- 
rick's despotic ways, had just come into a 
legacy of £6000 on the death of his mother. 
J^egotiations were immediately opened up 
between Colman and Beard, with the result 
that Garrick saw his former colleague turned 
into a formidable rival. Goldsmith showed 
somewhat unexpected skill in playing off 
Bungay-Colman against Bacon-Garrick, with 
the result that The Good-Xatur'd Man made 
its first appearance on Friday, January 29, 
1768, at Covent Garden. 

The gossips of the period enable us to 
attend the first performance behind the 
scenes. Colman was not too sure of suc- 
cess. Only on the pre^'ious Saturday a play 
by Kelly, called False Delieaeij, had been 
produced at the rival theatre, and had set the 
town in a furore of admiration for its ridicu- 
lous sentimentalism. The Good-Xatur^d 
Man was anything but sentimental, and the 
success of the other piece«did not promise well 

Introduction. 15 

for a comedy of exactly the opposite tone. 
The scene with the bailiffs in particular raised 
Colman's doubts to a fever of apprehension, 
which was not altogether unjustified by the 

Johnson had kindly consented to writ-e a 
prologue, but his heavy hand was far from 
suited for such an occasion. His lines are 
formal and depressing, and have a patron- 
ising tone, which can scarcely have pleased 
Goldsmith, to whom he referred as '^Our little 
Bard." The epithet at his earnest request was 
changed to "anxious" when the lines were 
printed in the Public Advertiser of the fol- 
lowing week. Powell, the original Honey- 
wood, and Garrick's handsome rival, did not 
take kindly to the part of hero, for which he 
was cast, and in the result the whole burden 
of carrying off the play fell upon Shuter, who 
did every justice to the part of Croaker. In- 
deed, the fate of the play remained in the 
balance until the end of the fourth act, when 
Shuter's reading of the letter to Croaker 
utterly obliterated the memories of the hisses 

16 Introduction. 

which the scene with the bailiffs had called 
forth, and the last curtain fell amidst thunders 
of applause. Goldsmith, with characteristic 
impulsiveness, hurried round to the green- 
room, and thanked Shuter for the fresh 
coloring he had given to his original con- 
ception. But even after the applause of the 
evening, the success of the comedy was by no 
means beyond doubt; and when G-oldsmith 
found himself alone mth his faithful John- 
son, he burst forth into a torrent of tears, and 
swore that he would never write another play. 
However, the scene with the bailiffs was "cut" 
in the succeeding representations, which ran 
to the not inconsiderable number of ten, the 
fifth of them being honored by the presence 
of their Majesties. The diligence of stage 
antiquaries has only discovered five mo^;e per- 
formances of the comedy during Goldsmith's 

After all, it is only by comparison vdth 
their applause of far inferior pieces that we 
can complain of the taste of the British public 
at the period. The Good-Natur^d Man haa 

Introduction. 17 

character and movement, but its plot is 
clumsy in the extreme, and the women are but 
dolls. But for the croaking of Croaker, and 
the scene with the bailiffs, it might go the way 
of ail eighteenth-century comedies. It was 
characteristic of the taste of the time that 
voices in the pit cried out ''Low, low," at the 
scene with the bailiffs, one of the best in the 
^'book." Goldsmith had the courage of his 
opinion, and printed the scene, though Col- 
man had expunged it. If, however, his fame 
as a ^\Titer of comedies were to rest on The 
Good-Natur^^d Man alone, we could scarcely 
claim for Goldsmith a higher rank than for 
the younger Colman. 

But five years after Goldsmith rose to 
higher heights, and produced the comedy 
which gives him his place among the foremost 
names of the English drama. Goldsmith was 
drawing from himself when he drew The 
Good-Natur'd Man, and the ill results of 
good-nature. lie was also drawing from his 
own experience when he told The Mistakes of 
a Night, the original, now the second title of 

18 Introductioii. 

She Stoops to Conquer, he himself in his 
youthful days having been led to mistake a 
mansion-house for a country inn, and on this 
simple ^'sell" the main plot of the comedy is 
founded. But it is character that tells in 
comedy as ^vell as in life, and we read or see 
She Stoops to Conquer over and over again, 
not for the mistakes of a night, but to renew 
our acquaintance with some of the most 
lovable of human characters as depicted in 
literature. Goldsmith was young Marlow, 
bT-t he was also Tony Lumpkin. 

George Eliot was once asked from whom 
she had drawn the character of Casaubon, the 
dull pedantic egoist of 21 iddle march. She 
replied by pointing with her finger to her own 
breast. Goldsmith, if interrogated in the 
same manner as to the source whence he de- 
rived the immortal Tony, would have been 
equally constrained to confess that he looked 
within his own bosom for the character of the 
good-natured, blundering fool. So, too, young 
Marlow's silence before "modest" women, and 
agreeable rattle before others, strike one as 

Introduction. 19 

being reminiscential. Similariv, one can feel 
some confidence that the story of the ^^Ould 
Grouse in the gun-room" really existed, and 
was enough to make you die a-laughing. But 
what a stroke of genius was it to add, ''^e 
have laughed at that these twenty years!" 
There is a whole diagnosis of rustic wit in the 
touch. Again, the joke played by Tony oi 
his mother sounds as if it had really occurred, 
and that it was practicable was shown years 
afterwards by Sheridan, who tried it upon 
Madame de Genlis. Tony's practical joke 
upon his stepfather, by tying his wig to his 
chair, had, we know, been played off on Gold- 
emitli himself by the daughter of Lord Clare, 
who sent him his "haunch of venison." As 
has been remarked, the scene at the inn actu- 
ally occurred to Goldsmith at Ardarg, when, 
inquiring for the "best house" to stop at, he 
was directed to the residence of the squire of 
the village, Mr. Featherston. Altogether, we 
may say that She Stoops to Conquer consists 
of a number of personal experiences of Gold- 
smith, welded with some approach to skill into 
a plot of plausibility. 

20 Introduction. 

Is it always so, I wonder? Are all the bits 
in dramas and novels that really live merely 
dressed-up reminiscences of actual occur- 
rences? From little peeps behind the scenes 
which have been granted me by my contempo- 
raries, I should feel inclined to say that this 
is so. ]Srot that it casts any reflection upon 
the originality of a novelist or comedy writer 
— all depends upon the dressing which he sup- 
plies ; and, to say the least, he has to select his 
incidents, and the essence of artistry is 

One curious point remains to be observed 
in this connection. Goldsmith was Irish, 
though not perhaps Irish of the Celtic fringe, 
but Irish of the Pale. Yet Tony and the 
Hardcastles, not to mention Diggory, are En- 
glish of the English. This raises a curious 
problem. Either the Irish of the Pale in 
Goldsmith's time were identical with the Pro- 
vincial English, or it is possible for a genius 
trained in one Yolksgeist to interpret another. 
Would it be possible, for example, for Mr. 
Hardy, by spending a year or so in Thrums, 

Introduction. 21 

to interpret its spirit as well as he does tbat of 
his Dorsetshire peasants l If it were possible, 
we may yet see the invasion of the Lowlands 
by the rising school of English novelists, and 
Scotch clergymen will have to again turn back 
to their own profession to gain a livelihood. 

But lifelike as was Goldsmith's characteri- 
sation, and laughter-provoking as his acted 
reminiscences are, his merits were not appreci- 
ated by the actor-managers of that time. It 
was bandied about between Colman and Gar- 
rick in the winter of 1772-73, till Goldsmith 
got fairly desperate; and it was probably by 
the intervention of his steadfast friend John- 
son that Colman was induced to put it in 
rehearsal, after he had sent back the manu- 
script scored with objections. But though 
convinced, Colman was of the same opinion 
still about the probable ill-success of the 
comedy, and made no secret of his forebod- 
ings. This naturally set his chief actors and 
actresses against being associated with a fail- 
ure, and it was only with the greatest diffi- 
culty that Colman could make up a cast. The 

22 Introduction. 

ladies got up a quarrel as to who should speak 
the epilogue, of which no less than four forms 
were written. Even the title was objected to. 
It was originally and most aptly called The 
Mistakes of a Night, but this was voted ''too 
low." The Old House, a Neiv Inn, was the 
substitute suggested, but rejected as awkward 
to say. Then Reynolds had a happy thought. 
He proposed to christen it The Beliefs Strata- 
gem, a title afterwards adopted by Mrs. 
Cowley. ''If this is not adopted," he cried, 
"I shall go help damn the play." The name 
by which we know it was ultimately decided 
upon, however, and was probably due to Gold- 
smith's remembrance of Dryden's line — 

"But kneels to conquer, and but stoops to rise." 

At last all difficulties were overcome, and 
on the 15th of March, 1773, She Stoops to 
Conquer began its triumphant career. Xever 
was a manager's anticipations so belied by the 
event. Shouts of laugliter greeted it from the 
"Jolly Pigeons" onwards. Johnson, in Court 
mourning for the King of Sardinia, sat in the 

Introductiou. 23 

front row of a side box, and acted as leader of 
the claque, "Whenever he laughed, every- 
body felt warranted to roar.'' 

Goldsmith only came in to enjoy the 
triumph at the last moment. He wandered 
about in St. James's Park till a friend found 
him and told him how well things were going; 
but just as he entered the theatre at the be- 
ginning of the fifth act, a solitary hiss greeted 
him, which was afterwards said to emanate 
from Kelly, his chief rival. "What's that?" 
he asked Colman. "Pshaw, doctor," said the 
actor-manager, "don't be afraid of a squib 
when you've been sitting for these two hours 
on a barrel of gunpowder." But the barrel 
did not go off, and the success of the play was 
assured from the first night. Even Horace 
Walpole, whose friends in Albemarle Street 
had been chaffed in the play, declared that the 
Muse had stooped indeed in order to conquer 
with such a play, yet had to own that it made 
you laugh very much indeed. To which 
Goldsmith would have answered, that that 
was all he aimed at. Indeed, we must all own 

24 Introduction. 

that if a comedy makes ns laugh, it has 
achieved most of its purpose. 

From that day to this She Stoops to 
Conquer has made generation after gener- 
ation of English playgoers laugh the laugh of 
good-humor, that leaves no bitter taste after 
it. From Lee Lewis to Lionel Brough, every 
comedian of note has added Tony Lumpkin to 
his lepertoire; and — severest test of all for a 
comedy which depends so much on the bustle 
of the scene — ever since it was printed, and ap- 
proj^riately dedicated to his sterling friend 
Johnson, it has remained one of the few 
comedies that read as well as they act. Try it, 
O Eeader. 








Dear Sir, 
By inscribing- this slight performance to you, I 
do not mean so much to compliment you as my- 
self. It may do me some honor to inform the 
public, that I have lived many years in intimacy 
with you. It may serve the interests of mankind 
also to inform them, that the greatest wit may be 
found in a character, without impairing the most 
unaffected piety. 

I have, particularly, reason to thank you for 
your partiality to this performance. The under- 
taking a comedy, not merely sentimental, was 
very dangerous; and Mr. Colman, who saw this 
piece in its various stages, always thought it so. 
However, I ventured to trust it to the public; 
and, though it was necessaril}' delaj-ed till late 
in the season, I have every reason to be grateful. 
I am, dear sir, 

Your most sincere friend, 
And admirer, 

Oliver Goldsmith. 




Enter Mr, Woodward, dressed in black, and hold- 
ing a Handkerchief to his Eyes. 

Excuse me, sirs, I pray — I can't yet speak — 
I'm crying- now — and have been all the week! 
^Tis not alone this mourning suit, good masters; 
rve that icithin — for which there are no plasters! 
Pray would you know the reason why I'm crying? 
The Comic muse, long- sick, is now a-dj'ing! 
And if she goes, my tears will never stop; 
For as a player, I can't squeeze out one drop: 
I am undone, that's all — shall lose my bread — 
I'd rather — but that's nothing — lose my head. 
When the sweet maid is laid upon the bier, 
Shuter and I shall be chief mourners here. 
To her a mawkish drab of spurious breed, 
Who deals in sentimentals will succeed! 
Poor Ned and I are dead to all intents. 
We can as soon speak Greek as sentiments! 
Both nervous grown, to keep our spirits up, 
We now and then take down a hearty cup. 
What shall we do? — If Comedy forsake us! 
They'll turn us out, and no one else will take us. 
But why can't I be moral? — let me trj^ — 
My heart thus pressing — fix'd my face and eye — 

30 Prologue. 

With a sententious look, that nothing- means 
(Faces are blocks, in sentimental scenes). 
Thus I begin — All is not gold that glitters, 
Pleasure seems sweet, tut proves a glass of hitters. 
'When ignorance enters, folly is at hand; 
Learning is better far than house and land. 
Let not your virtue trip, ivho trips may stumhle. 
And virtue is not virtue if she tumble. 

I give it up — morals won't do for me; 
To make you laugh I must play tragedy. 
One hope remains — hearing- the maid was ill, 
A doctor comes this night to show his skill. 
To cheer her heart, and give your muscles motion, 
He, in five draughts prepar'd, presents a potion: 
A kind of magic charm — for be assur'd. 
If you will swallow it, the maid is cur'd. 
But desperate the Doctor, and her case is. 
If you reject the dose, and make wry faces: 
This truth he boasts, will boast it while he lives, 
No poisonous drugs are mix'd in what he gives; 
Should he succeed, you'll give him his degree; 
If not, within he will receive no fee! 
The college you, must his pretensions back. 
Pronounce him regular, or dub him quack. 



Sir Charles Marlow 
Young Marlow (his Soti) 
Hardcastle . 
Tony Lumpkin 

Mr. Gardner. 
Mr. Lewes. 
Mr. Shuter. 
Mr. Dubellamy. 
Mr. Quick. 
^In. Saunders. 

Mrs. Hardcastle 
Miss Hardcastle 
Miss IVeville 
Maid . 


Mrs. Green. 
:Mrs. Bulkley. 
Mrs. Kniveton. 


Landlords, Sen 

ants. Etc., Etc. 






ScEXE. — A Chamber in an old-fashioned 

Enter Mks. IIaedcastle and Mr. Hard- 

Mrs. Hardcastle. I vow, Mr Hardcastle, 
You^re very particular. Is there a creature 
in the whole country^ but ourselves, that does 
not take a trip to town now and then, to rub 
off the rust a little? There's the two Miss 
Hoggs, and our neighbor, Mrs. Grigsbv, go 
to take a month's polishing every winter. 

Hardcastle. Ay, and bring back vanity 
and affectation to last them the whole year. 
3 C3H) 

34 Slie Stoops to Conquer. 

I wonder why London cannot keep its own 
fools at home. In my time, the follies of the 
town crept slowly among us, but now they 
travel faster than a stage-coach. Its fopperies 
come down, not only as inside passengers, but 
in the very basket. 

Mes. Haedcastle. Ay, your times were 
fine times indeed ; you have been telling us of 
them for many a long year. Here we live in 
an old rumbling mansion, that looks for all 
the world like an inn, but that we never see 
company. Our best visitors are old ]\Irs. Odd- 
fish, the curate's wife, and little Cripplegate, 
the lame dancing-master: and all our enter- 
tainment your old stories of Prince Eugene 
and the Duke of Marlborough. I hate such 
old-fashioned trumpery. 

Haedcastle. And I love it. I love every- 
thing that's old: old friends, old times, old 
m.anners, old books, old wine; and, I believe, 
Dorothy (taking Iter hand), you'll own I have 
been pretty fond of an old wife. 

Mes. Haedcastle. Lord, Mr. Hardcastle, 
you're for ever at your Dorothys and your old 

She Stoops to Conquer. o5 

vvifes. You may be a Darby, but I'll be no 
Joan, I promise you. I'm not so old as you'd 
make me, by more than one good year. Add 
twenty to twenty, and make money of tliat. 

TTardcastle. Let me see; twenty added 
to twenty, makes just fifty and seven ! 

Mes. Hakdcastle. It's false, Mr. Hard- 
castle : I was but twenty wlien I was brought 
to bed of Tony, that I had by Mr. Lumpkin, 
my first husband; and he's not come to years 
of discretion yet. 

Hardcastle. Xor ever will, I dare an- 
swer for him. Ay, you have taught hiiii finely I 

Mrs. IIardcastle. Xo matter, Tony 
Lumpkin has a good fortune. My son is not 
to live by his learning. I don't think a boy 
wants much learning to spend fifteen hundred 
a year. 

IIaedcastle. Learning, quotha ! A mere 
composition of tricks and mischief! 

Mrs. Hardcastle. Humor, my dear: 
nothing but humor. Come, Mr. Hardcastle,. 
you must allow the boy a little humor. 

Hardcastle. I'd sooner allow him a. 

3G She Stoops to Conquer. 

horse-230ud ! If burning the footmen's shoes, 
frightening the maids, and worrying the kit- 
tens, be humor, he has it. It was but yes- 
terday he fastened my wig to the back of my 
chair, and when I went to make a bow, I 
popped my bald head in '^Irs. Erizzle's face ! 

Mes. Hakdcastle. And am I to blame? 
The poor boy was always too sickly to do any 
good. A school would be his death. When 
he comes to be a little stronger, who knows 
what a year or two's Latin may do for him? 

IIardcastle. Latin for him? A cat and 
fiddle! Xo, no, the ale-house and the stable 
are the only schools he'll eyer go to ! 

ILrs. Haedcastle. Well, we must not 
snub the poor boy now, for I belieye we shan't 
have him long among us. Anybody that 
looks in his face may see he's consumptiye. 

Haedcastle. Ay, if growing too fat be 
one of the symptoms. 

Mrs. B!aedcastle. He coughs sometimes. 

Haedcastle. Yes, when his liquor goes 
the wrong way. 

She Stoops to Conquer. 37 

Mrs. IIaedcastle. I'm actually afraid of 
his lungs. 

Hakdcastle. And truly, so am I; for he 
sometimes whoops like a speaking-trumpet — 
(Tony haUooing heJiind the Scenes.) 0, 
there he goes — a very consumptive figure^ 
truly ! 

Enter Tony, crossing the stage. 

Mrs. Hardcastle. Tony, where are you 
going, my charmer? Won't you give papa 
and I a little of your company, lovey ? 

Tony. I'm in haste, mother, I cannot stay. 

Mrs. Hardcastle. You shan't venture* 
out this raw evening, my dear: You look 
most shockingly. 

Tony. I can't stay, I tell you. The 
Three Pigeons expects me down every mo- 
ment. There's some fun going forward. 

Hardcastle. Ay; the ale-house, the old 
place; I thought so. 

Mrs. Hardcastle. A low, paltry set of 

Tony. !N'ot so low, neither. There's Dick 

38 She Stoops to Conquer. 

jMuggins the exciseman, Jack Slang the horse 
doctor, Little Aminadab that grinds the music 
"box, and Tom Twist that spins the pewter 

Mrs. Haedcastle. Praj, mv dear, dis- 
appoint them for one night, at least. 

ToxY. As for disappointing tJicnij I 
should not much mind; but I can't abide to 
disappoint myself! 

Mes. Haedcastle. {Detaining him.) 
You shan't go. 

ToxY. I will, I tell you. 

Mrs. Hardcastle. I say you shan't. 

Tox"Y. We'll see which is strongest, you 
or I. lEMt haiiling her out. 

Hardcastle solus. 

Hardcastle. Ay, there goes a pair that 
only spoil each other. But is not the whole 
age in a combination to drive sense and dis- 
cretion out of doors? There's my pretty 
darling Kate; the fashions of the times have 
almost infected her too. By living a year or 
two in town, she is as fond of gauze, and 
French frippery, as the best of them. 

She Stoops to Conquer. 39 

Enter Miss Haedcastle. 

Haedcastle. Blessings on my pretty 
innocence! Dressed out as usual, my Kate! 
Goodness! 'WTiat a quantity of sup€rfluou3 
silk liast tliou got about tliee, girl! I could 
never teacli tlie fools of tliis age, tliat tlie in- 
digent world could be clothed out of the trim- 
mings of the vain. 

Miss Hakdcastle. You know our agi*ee- 
ment, sir. You allow me the morning to re- 
ceive and pay visits, and to dress in my own 
manner; and in the evening, I i)^^t on my 
housewife's dress, to please you. 

IIardcastle. TTell, remember, I insist on 
the terms of our agreement; and, by-the-bye, 
I believe I shall have occasion to try your 
obedience this very evening. 

Miss IIaedcastle. I protest, sir, I don't 
comprehend your meaning. 

IIardcastle. Then, to be plain with you, 
Kate, I expect the young gentleman I have 
chosen to be your husband from town this 
very day. I have his father's letter, in which 

•^0 Slie Stoops to Conquer. 

lie infonns me liis son is set out, and that he 
intends to follow himself shortly after. 

Miss Haedcastle. Indeed! I wish I had 
known something of this before. Bless me, 
how shall I behave? It's a thousand to one I 
shan't like him; our meeting will be so formal, 
and so like a thing of business, that I shall 
find no room for friendship or esteem. 

Haedcastle. Depend upon it, child, I'll 
never control your choice; but Mr. Marlow, 
whom I have pitched upon, is the son of my 
old friend, Sir Charles Marlow, of whom you 
have heard me talk so often. The young 
gentleman has been bred a scholar, and is 
designed for an employment in the service of 
his country. I am told he's a man of an ex- 
cellent understanding. 

Miss Haedcastle. Is he? 

ILiEDCASTLE. Very generous. 

Miss Haedcastle. I believe I shall like 

Haedcastle. Young and brave. 

Miss Haedcastle. I'm sure I shall like 

' Goodoess ! What a quantity of superfluous silk hast thou got about 

thee, girl ! " 

41 12 

She Stoops to Conquer. 43 

Haedcastle. And very handsome. 

Miss TTakdcastle. My dear papa, say no 
more (kissi7ig his hand), he's mine, I'll have 

Haedcastle. And, to crown all, Kate, 
he's one of the most bashful and reserved 
young fellows in all the worlJ. 

Miss Hardcastle. Eh! you have frozen 
me to death again. That word reserved has 
undone all the rest of his accomplishments. 
A reserv^ed lover, it is said, always makes a 
suspicious husband. 

Haedcastle. On the contrary, modesty 
seldom resides in a breast that is not enriched 
with nobler virtues. It was the very feature 
in his character that first struck me. 

Miss Haedcastle. He must have more 
striking features to catch me, I promise you. 
However, if he be so young, so handsome, and 
so everytliing, as you mention, I believe he'll 
do still. I think I'll have him. 

Haedcastle. Ay, Kate, but there is still 
an obstacle. It is more than an even .wager, 
he mav not have you. 

44 She Stcw3ps to Conquer. 

Miss Hardcastle. My dear papa, whj 
will you mortify one so ? — Well, if lie refuses, 
instead of breaking my heart at his indiffer- 
ence, I'll only break my glass for its flattery, 
set my cap to some newer fashion, and look 
out for some less difficult admirer. 

IIakdcastle. Bravely resolved! In the 
meantime I'll go prepare tlie servants for his 
reception; as we seldom see company, tbey 
want as much training as a company of re- 
cruits the first day's muster. [Exit, 

Miss Hardcastle so 7a. 

Miss Hahdcastle. Lud, this news of 
papa's puts me all in a flutter. Young, hand- 
some; these he put last; but I put them fore- 
most. Sensible, good-natur'd; I like all that. 
But then, reserved and sheepish, that's mucli 
against him. Yet can't he be cured of his 
timidity, by being taught to be proud of bis 
wife? Yes, and can't I — But I vow I'm dis- 
posing* of the husband before I have secured 
the lover! 

She Stoops to Conquer. 45 

Enter Miss Xeville. 

Miss Haedcastle. I'm glad you're come, 

Xeville, mj dear. Tell me, Constance, how 
do I look this evening? Is there anything 
whimsical about me? Is it one of my well- 
looking days, child ? Am I in face to-day ? 

Miss Xeville. Perfectly, my dear. Yet, 
now I look again — bless me I — sure no acci- 
dent has happened amon^ the canary birds or 
the goldfishes? Has your brother or the cat 
been meddling? Or has the last novel been too 
moving ? 

Miss IIardcastle. Xo; nothing of all 
this. I have been threatened — I can scarce 
get it out — I have been threatened with a 

Miss Xeville. And his name — 

Miss TTakdcastle. Is Marlow. 

Miss Xeville. Indeed! 

Miss TTardcastle. The son of Sir Char, es 

Miss Xeville. As I live, the most inti- 
mate friend of Mr. Hastings, 7ny admirer. 

46 She Stoops to Conquer. 

Thev are never asunder. I believe vou must 
have seen him v.^hen we lived in town. 

Miss TTardcastle. Xever. 

Miss Seville. He's a very singular char- 
acter, I assure you. Among women of repu- 
tation and virtue, he is the modestest man 
alive; but his acquaintance give him a very 
different character among creatures of another 
stamp: you understand me? 

Miss Hakdcastle. An odd character, in- 
deed! I shall never be able to manage him. 
"What shall I do? Pshaw, think no more of 
him, but trust to occurrences for success. But 
how goes on your own affair, my dear? Has 
my mother been courting you for my brother 
Tony, as usual ? 

Miss Xeville. I have just come from one 
of our agreeable tete-d-tetes. She has been 
saying a hundred tender things, and setting 
off her pretty monster as the very pink of per- 

Miss Haedcastle. And her j)artiality is 
such, that she actually thinks him so. A for- 
tune like yours is no small temptation. Be- 

She Stoops to Conquer. 47 

sides, as slie lias the sole management of it, 
I'm not surprised to see lier unwilling to let it 
go out of the family. 

Miss Xeville. A fortune like mine, 
which chiefly consists in jewels, is no such 
mighty temptation. But, at any rate, if my 
dear Hastings be but constant, I make no 
doubt to be too hard for her at last. How- 
ever, I let her supj)ose that I am in love with 
her son, and she never once dreams that my 
affections are fixed upon another. 

Miss Haedcastle. My good brother 
holds out stoutly. I could almost love him 
for hating you so. 

Miss Xeville. It is a good-natur'd crea- 
ture at bottom, and I'm sure would wish to 
see me married to anybody but himself. But 
my aunt's bell rings for our afternoon's walk 
through the improvements. Allons. Cour- 
age is necessary, as our affairs are critical. 

Miss Hakdcastle. Would it were bed- 
time and all were well. [Exeunt. 

48 She Stoops to Conquer. 

ScEXE. An Alehouse Room. Several 
sliahJjy felloKSj ivith punch and tobacco. 
ToxY at the head of the table, a little higher 
than the rest: a mallet in his hand. 

Omn:es. Hurrea, liiirrea, hurreaj bravo! 

First Fellow. Xow, gentlemen, silence 
for a song. The ^Squire is going to knock 
liimseli down for a song. 

OiixEs. Aj, a song, a song. 

ToxY. Then I'll sing you, gentlemen, a 
song I made upon this ale-house, the Three 


Let school-masters puzzle their brain, 

With grammar, and nonsense, and learning-; 
Good liquor, I stoutly m^aintain. 

Gives genus a better discerning; 
Let them brag- of their heathenish Gods, 

Their Lethes, their Styxes, and Stygians; 
Their Quis, and their Quses, and their Quods, 

They're all but a parcel of Pigeons. 

Toroddle, toroddie, toroll! 

She Stoops to Conquer. 49 

When Methodist preachers come down, 

A-preaching that drinking is sinful, 
I'll wager the rascals a crown, 

They always preach best with a skinful. 
But when you come down with your pence, 

For a slice of their scurvy religion, 
I'll leave it to all men of sense, 

But you, my good friend, are the pigeon. 
Toroddle, toroddle, toroU! 

Then come, put the jorum about. 

And let us be merry- and clever, 
Our hearts and our liquors are stout, 

Here's the Three Jolly Pigeons for ever. 
Let some cry up woodcock or hare. 

Your bustards, yoiir ducks, and your widgeons; 
But of all the birds in the air, 

Here's a health to the Three Jolly Pigeons. 
Toroddle, toroddle, torolll 

Omnes. Bravo, bravo! 

FiEST Fellow. The 'Squire has got spunk 
in him. 

Seco:sd Fellow. I loves to hear him sing, 
bekeajs he never gives us nothing that's low, 

Thied Fellow. damn anything that's 
loic, I cannot bear it ! 

Fourth Fellow. The genteel thing is the 
genteel thing at any time. If so be that a 

oO She Stoops to Conquer. 

gentleman bees in a concatenation acoord* 

Thikd Fellow. I like tlie maxum of it^ 
Master Muggins. What, though I am obli- 
gated to dance a bear, a man may be a gentle- 
man for all that. May this be my poison if 
my bear ever dances but to the very genteelest 
of tunes — Water Parted, or the minuet in 

Second Fellow. What a pity it is the 
'Squire is not come to his own. It would be 
well for all the j^^l^licans within ten miles 
round of him. 

ToxY. Ecod, and so it would. Master 
Slang. I'd then show what it was to keep 
choice of company. 

Secoxd Fellow. 0, he takes after his 
own father for that. To be sure, old 'Squire 
Lumpkin was the finest gentleman I ever set 
my eyes on. For winding the straight horn, 
or beating a thicket for a hare or a wench, he 
never had his fellow. It was a saying in the 
place, that he kept the best horses, dojo^, ajrA 
girls in the whole county. 

She Stoops to Conquer. 51 

Tony. Ecod, and when I'm of age I'll be 
no bastard, I promise you. I have been think- 
ing of Bet Bouncer and the miller's grey mare 
to begin with. But come, my boys, drink 
about and be merry, for you pay no reckon- 
ing. Well, Stingo, what's the matter? 

Enter Laxdlokd. 

Landlord. There be two gentlemen in a 
post-chaise at the door. They have lost their 
way upo' the forest; and they are talking 
something about Mr. Hardcastle. 

Tony. As sure as can be, one of them 
must be the gentleman that's coming down to 
court my sister. Do they seem to be London- 

Landlord. I believe they may. They 
look woundily like Frenchmen. 

Tony. Then desire them to step this way, 
and I'll set them right in a twinkling. {Exit 
Landlord.) Gentlemen, as they mayn't be 
good enough company for you, step down for 
a moment, and I'll be with you in the squeez- 
ing of a lemon. {^Exeunt Mob, 

52 She Stoops to Conquer. 

Tony solus. 

ToxY. Father-in-law has been calling me 
whelp, and hound, this half year, i^ow, if I 
pleased, I could be so revenged upon the old 
grumbletonian. But then I'm afraid — ^afraid 
of what? I shall soon be worth fifteen hun- 
dred a year, and let him frighten me out of 
that if he can! 

Enter Laxdloed, conducting ^Maklow and 

!M.\.RL0w. "What a tedious uncomfortable 
day have we had of it! We were told it was 
but forty miles across the country, and we 
have come above threescore! 

Hastings. And all, ITarlow, from that 
unaccountable reserve of yom^, that would 
not let us enquire more frequently on the way. 

Marlow. I own, Hastings, I am unwill- 
ing to lay myself under an obligation to every 
one I meet; and often stand the chance of an 
immannerlv answer. 

Slip Stoops to Conquer. 53 

Hastkjgs. At present, however, we are 
not likely to receive anj answer. 

Tony. I\'o offence, gentlemen. But I'm 
told you have been enquiring for one !M!r. 
Hardcastle, in these parts. Do jou know 
what part of the country you are in ? 

Hastings. ISTot in the least, sir, but should 
thank you for information. 

Tony. Xor the way you came? 

Hastings. ISTo, sir, but if you can inform 

Tony. Why, gentlemen, if you know 
neither the road you are going, nor where you 
are, nor the road you came, the first thing I 
have to inform you is, that — you have lost 
your way. 

Maelow. "W^e wanted no ghost to tell us 

Tony. Pray, gentlemen, may I be so bold 
as to ask the place from whence you came? 

Maelow. That's not necessary towards 
directing us where we are to go. 

Tony. Ko offence ; but question for ques- 
tion is all fair, you know. Pray, gentlemen, 

54 She Stoops to Conquer. 

is not this same Hardcastle a cross-grained, 
old-fashioned, whimsical fellow with an ugly 
face, a daughter, and a pretty son ? 

Hastings. TTe have not seen the gentle- 
man, but he has the family you mention. 

ToisY. The daughter, a tall, trapesing, 
trolloping, talkative maypole — The son, a 
pretty, well-bred, agi-eeable youth, that every- 
body is fond of! 

Marlow. Our information differs in this. 
The daughter is said to be well-bred and beau- 
tiful; the son, an awkward booby, reared up 
and spoiled at his mother's apron-string. 

Tony. TIe-he-hem — then, gentlemen, all 
I have to tell you is, that you won't reach Mr. 
Hardcastle's house this night, I believe. 

Hastixgs. Unfortunate ! 

ToxY. It's a damned long, dark, boggy, 
dirty, dangerous way. Stingo, tell the gentle- 
men the way to Mr. Hardcastle's. (Winking 
upon the Landlord.) Mr. Hardcastle's of 
Quagmire Marsh, you understand me. 

Lax'dlokd. Master Hardcastle's ! Lack-a- 
daisy, my masters, you've come a deadly deal 

Tony : " Why gentlemen, * * * yon have lost your way. 

She Stoops to Conquer. 57 

wrong! When you came to the bottom of the 
hill, you should have crossed down Squash 

Maelow. Cross do^vn Squash Lane ! 

Laxdlokd. Then you were to keep 
straight forward, until you came to four roads. 

Maelow. Come to where four roads 

ToxY. Ay, but YOU must be sure to t-ake 
only one of them. 

Maelow. O, sir, you're facetious! 

Tony. Then, keeping to the right, you 
are to go sideways till you come upon Crack- 
skull common: there you must look sharp for 
the track of the wheel, and go forward, till 
you come to farmer Murrain's bam. Coming 
to the farmer's bam, you are to turn to the 
right, and then to the left, and then to the 
right about again, till you find out the old 

Maelow. Zounds, man! we could as soon 
find out the longitude ! 

HASTI^^GS. "What's to be done, Marlow? 

Maelow. This house promises but a poor 

68 She Stoops to Conquer. 

reception, tliougli, perhaps, the landlord can 
accommodate us. 

La]N'dloed. Alack, master, we have but 
one spare bed in the whole house. 

To:N^y. And to my knowledge, that's taken 
up by three lodgers already. (After a pause y 
in which the rest seem disconcerted.) I have 
hit it. Don't you think. Stingo, our landlady 
could accommodate the gentlemen by the fire- 
side, with three chairs and a bolster? 

Hastings. I hate sleeping by the fire-side. 

Maelow. And I detest your three chairs 
and a bolster. 

Tony. You do, do you? — ^then let me see 
■ — what — if you go on a mile further, to the 
Buck's Head; the old Buck's Head on the hill, 
one of the best inns in the whole county ? 

Hastings. Oh, oh ! so we have escaped an 
adventure for this night, however. 

Landlord (apart to Tony). Sure, you 
ben't sending them to your father's as an inn, 
be you ? 

Tony. Mum, you fool, you. Let them 
find that out. (To them.) You have only to 

She Stoo})s to Conquer. 59 

keep on straight forward, till you come to a 
large old house by the roadside. You'll see a 
pair of large horr^s over the door. That's the 
sign. Drive up the yard, and call stoutly 
about you. 

Hastings. Sir, we are obliged to you. 
The ser^ci'its van't miss the way? 

Tovr. 'No, no: But I tell you though, 
the landlord is rich, and going to leave off 
business; so he wants to be thought a gentle- 
man, saving your presence, he! he! he! Ile'li 
be for giving you his company, and, ecod, if 
you mind him he'll persuade you that his 
mother was an alderman, and nis aunt* a 
justice of the Deace! 

Landlord. A troublesome old blade, to 
be sure; but 'a keeps as good wines and beds 
as any in the whole country. 

Maklow. Well, if he supplies us with 
these, we shall want no further connection. 
We are to turn to the right, did you say ? 

Tony. Xo, no ; straight forward. I'll just 
step myself, and show you a piece of the way. 
(To the Landlord.) Mum. 

60 She Stoops to Conquer. 

Lanblord. Ah, bless jour heart, for a 

sweet, pleasant damned mischievous son 

of a whore. {Exeunt, 


Ske Stoops to Conquer. 61 

ACT n. 

ScEisTE. — An old-fashioned House, 

Enter Haedcastle, folloiced ly three or four 
awkward Servants. 

Hakdcastle. "Well, I hope you're perfect 
in tlie table exercise I have been teaching jou 
these three days. You all know your posts 
and your places, and can show that you have 
been used to good company, without ever stir- 
ring from home. 

0:mnes. Ay, ay. 

Hakdcastle. "When company comes, you 
are not to pop out and stare, and then run in 
again, like frightened rabbits in a warren. 

Omxes. Xo, no. 

HxiRDCASTLE. You, Diggory, whom I 
have taken from the bam, are to make a show 
at the side-table; and you, Roger, whom I 
have advanced from the plough, are to place 
yourself behind mij chair. But you're not to 
stand so, with your hands in your pockets. 

62 Slie Stoops to Conquer. 

Take your hands from your pockets, Roger; 
and from your head, you blockhead, you. 
See how Diggory carries his hands. They're a 
little too stiff, indeed, but that's no great 

Diggory. Ay, mind how I hold them. I 
learned to hold my hands this way, when I 
was upon drill for the militia. And so being 
upon drill 

Haedcastle. You must not be so talka- 
tive, Diggory. You must be all attention to 
the guests. You must hear us talk, and not 
think of talking; you must see us dnnk, and 
not think of drinking; you must see us eat, 
and not think of eating. 

Diggory. By the laws, your worship, 
that's parfectly unpossible. "Whenever Dig- 
gory sees yeating going forward, eeod, he's 
always wishing for a mouthful hunself . 

Hardcastle. Blockhead! Is not a belly- 
ful in the kitchen as good as a bellyful in the 
parlor? Stay your stomach with that reflec- 

Diggory. Ecod, I thank your worship, 

She Stoops to Conquer. 63 

I'll make a shift to stay my stomach with a 
slice of cold beef in the pantry. 

Haedcastle. Diggory, you are too talka- 
tive. Then, if I happen to say a good thing, 
or tell a good story at table, you must not all 
burst out a-laughing, as if you made part of 
the company. 

DiGGOKY. Then, ecod, your worship must 
not tell the story of Ould Grouse in the gun- 
room: I can't help laughing at that — he! he! 
he ! — for the soul of me ! ^Ve have laughed 
at that these twenty years — ha ! ha ! ha ! 

Haedcastle. Ha! ha! ha! The story is a 
good one. AVell, honest Diggory, you may 
laugh at that — but still remember to be at- 
tentive. Suppose one of the company should 
call for a glass of wine, how will you behave ? 
A glass of wine, sir, if you please (to Dig- 
gory) Eh, why don't you move? 

Diggory. Ecod. vour worship, I never 
have courage till I see the eatables and drink- 
ables brought upo' the table, and then I'm as 
tpuld as a lion. 

Habdcastle. What, will nobody move? 

64 Slie Stoops to Conquer. 

PiKST Seeva^'t. I'm not to leave tiiia 

Second Serya:xt. I'm sure it's no pleace 
of mine. 

Third Seevais^t. Xor mine, for sartain. 

DiGGOEY. AVauns, and I'm sui'e it canna 
be mine. 

Haedcastle. You numskulls! and so 
while, like jour bettors, you are quaiTelling 
for places, tke guests must be starved. O, you 
dunces! I find I must begin all over again. — 
But don't I bear a coach drive into the yard ? 
To your posts, you blockheads ! I'U go in the 
meantime and give my old friend's son a 
hearty reception at the gate. 

[Exit TTaedcastle. 

DiGGOEY. By the elevens, my pleace is 
gone quite out of my head ! 

Bogee. I know that my pleace is to be 

BiEST Seevakt. Where the devil is mine ? 

Second Servant. My pleace is to be no- 
where at all; and so Ize go about my business! 
[Exeunt Servants, running about as 
if frighted, different ways. 



" Then, ecod, your worship must not tell the story of Ould Grouse in the 

t;5— 66 

She' St(x>i>s to Conquer. 67 

Enter Serva:st icitli Candles, showing in 
Maklow and HAsxiiS^GS. 

Sebvai^t. Welconie, gentlemen, very wel- 
come. Tliis way. 

"FTasttxos. After tlie disappointments of 
the day, welcome once more, Charles, to the 
comforts of a clean room and a good hre. 
Upon my word, a very well-looking house; 
antique, but creditable. 

Maelow. The usual fate of a large man- 
sion. Having first ruined the master by 
good house-keeping, it at last comes to levy 
contributions as an inn. 

IIastixgs. As you say, we passengers are 
to be ta^ed to pay all these fineries. I have 
often seen a good sideboard, or a marble 
chimney-piece, though not actually put in the 
bill, infiame a reckoning confoundedly. 

Maklow. Travellers, George, must pay 
in all places. The only difference is, that in 
good inns, you pay dearly for luxmies: in 
bad inns, you are fieeced and starved. 

Hastings. You have lived pretty much 

68 Slie Stoops to Conquer. 

among them. In truth, I have been often 
surprised, that you who have seen so much 
of the world, with your natural good sense, 
and your many opportunities, could never yet 
acquii'e a requisite share of assurance. 

Maklow. The Englishmen's malady. 
But tell me, George, where could I have 
learned that assurance you talk of? My life 
has been chiefly spent in a college, or an inn, 
in seclusion from that lovely part of the crea- 
tion tliat chiefly teach men confidence. I 
don't know that I was ever familiarly ac- 
quainted wdth a single modest woman — ex- 
cept my mother — But among females of an- 
other class, yon know 

Hastings. Ay, among them you are im- 
pudent enough of all conscience! 

Maelow. They are of us, you know. 

Hasti^^gs. But in the company of women 
of reputation I never saw such an idiot, such 
a trembler; you look for all the world as if 
you wanted an opportunity of stealing out 
of the room. 

Marlow. Why^ man, that's because I 

She Stoops to Conquer. 69 

do want to steal out of the room, Faitk, I 
have often foa*med a resolution to break the 
ice, and rattle away at any rate. But I don't 
know how, a single glance from a pair of fine 
eyes has totally overset my resolution. An 
impudent fellow may counterfeit modesty, 
but I'll be hanged if a modest man can ever 
counterfeit impudence. 

Hasti^sGS. If you could but say half the 
fine things to them that I have heard you 
lavish upon the barmaid of an inn, or even 
a college bedmaker — : — 

"Ma BLOW. Why, George, I can't say fine 
things to them. They freeze, they petrify 
me. They may talk of a comet, or a burn- 
ing mountain or some such bagatelle. But 
to me, a modest woman, dressed out in all 
her finery, is the most tremendous object of 
the whole creation. 

Hastings. Ha! ha! ha! At this rate, man, 
how can you ever expect to marry? 

!^Iaelow. Xever, unless, as among kings 
and princes, my bride were to be courted by 
proxy. If, indeed, like an Eastern bride- 

70 She Stoops to Conquer. 

gi-oom, one ^'ere to be introduced to a wife 
lie never saw before, it might be endured. 
But to go through all the terrors of a formal 
courtship, together with the episode of aunts, 
grandmothers, and cousins, and at last to 
blurt out the broad staring question" of 
Madam, will you marry me? iSTo, no, that's 
a strain much above me, I assure jou! 

Hastits^gs. I pity you. But how do yon 
intend behaving to the lady you are come 
down to visit at the request of your father? 

Maelow. As I behave to all other ladies. 
Bow very low. Answer yes, or no, to all 
her demands — ^But for the rest, I don't think 
I shall venture to look in her face, till I see 
ir»y father's again. 

Hastings. I'm surprised that one who is 
so warm a friend can be so cool a lover. 

Maelow. To be explicit, my dear Hast- 
ings, my chief inducement down was to be 
instrumental in forwarding your happiness, 
not my own. Miss Seville loves you, the 
family don't know you, as my friend you are 
sure of a reception, and ]e\ honor do the rest. 

Slie Stoops to Conquer. 71 

Hastings. My dear Marlow! But I'll 
suppress the emotion. Were I a "vvTetch, 
meanly seeking to carry o£F a fortune, you 
sliould be tlie last man in tlie world I would 
apply to for assistance. But Miss Xeville's 
person is all I ask, and that is mine, both 
from her deceased father's consent, and her 
own inclination. 

Marlow. Happy man! You have talents 
and art to captivate any woman. I'm doomed 
to adore the sex, and yet to converse with 
the only pa,rt of it I despise. This stammer 
in my address, and this awkward prepossess- 
ing visage of mine, can never permit me to 
soar above the reach of a milliner's appren- 
tice, or one of the duchesses of Drury Lane. 
Pshaw! this fellow here to interrupt us. 

Enter Hardcastle. 

Haedcastle. Gentlemen, once more you 
are heartily welcome. Which is Mr. Mar- 
low? Sir, you're heartily welcome. It's not 
my way, you see, to receive my friends with 
my back to the fire. I like to give them a 

72 She Stoops to Conquer. 

lieaxty re<^eption in the old style at mj gate. 
I like to see their horses and trunks taken 
care of. 

Maklow (aside). He has got our names 
from the servants already. {To him.) We 
approve your caution and hospitality, sir. 
(To Hastings.) I have been, thinking, 
George, of changing our travelling dresses 
in the morning. I am grown confoundedly 
ashamed of mine. 

Haedcastle. I beg, Mr. Marlow, you'll 
use no ceremony in this house. 

Hastings. I fancy, George, You're right: 
the first blow is half the battle. I intend 
opening the campaign with the white and 

H!akdcastle. Mr. Marlow — ^Mr. Hast- 
ings — gentlemen — pray be under no con- 
straint in this house. This is Liberty Hall, 
gentlemen. You may do just as you please 

Maelow. Yet, George, if w^e open the 
campaign too fiercely at first, we may wan/fc 

She Stoops to Conquer. 73 

ammunition before it is over. I think to re- 
serve the embroidery to secure a retreat. 

TTardcastle. Your talking of a retreat, 
Mr. Marlow, puts me in mind of the Duke 
of Marlborough, when we went to besiege 
Denain. He first summoned the garrison' — 

Marloav. Don't you think the ventre d'or 
waistcoat will do with the plain brown? 

IIaedcastle. He first summoned the gar- 
rison, which might consist of about five thou- 
sand men 

Hastings. I think not : brown and yellow 
mix but very poorly. 

Hakdcastle. I say, gentlemen, as I was 
telling you, he summoned the garrison, which 
might consist of about five thousand men 

Maklow. The girls like finery. 

IKedcastle. Which might consist of 
about five thousand men, well appointed with 
stores, ammunition, and other implements of 
war. ^'Xow," says the Duke of Marlborough 
to George Brooks, that stood next to him — 
you must have heard of George Brooks — ^'I'll 
pawn my Dukedom,'' says he, ''but I take 

74 She Stoops to Conquer. 

tliat garrison without spilling a drop of 
blood!" So 

Mablow. What, mj good friend, if jou 
gave us a glass of punch in the meantime? it 
would help us to carry on tiie siege with 

Hardcastle. Punch, sir ! (Aside.) 

This is the most unaccountahle kind of rn'od- 
esty I ever met with! 

Maklow. Yes, sir, punch ! A glass of 
warm punch, after our journey, will be com- 
fortable. This is Liberty Hall, you know. 

Hakdcastle. Here's cup, sir. 

Marlow (aside). So this fellow, in his 
Liberty Hall, will only let us have just what 
he pleases. 

Haedcastle (taking the cup). I hope 
youTl find it to your mind. I have prepared 
it with my own hands, and I believe you'll 
own the ingredients are tolerable. Will you 
be so good as to pledge me, sir? Here, Mr. 
Marlow, here is to our better acquaintance I 


Maklow (aside). A veiy impudent fellow 

She Stoops to Conquer. 76 

tiiis! butJ lie's a character, and I'll humor 
him a little. Sir, mj service to you. 


Hastings (aside), I see this fellow wants 
to give us his companj, and forgets that he's 
an innkeeper, before he has learned to be a 

Mablow. From the excellence of jour 
cup, mj old friend, I suppose vou have a 
good deal of business in this part of the coun- 
try. Warm work, now and then, at elec- 
tions, I suppose? 

TT a bdcastle. Xo, sir, I have long given 
that work over. Since our betters have hit 
upon the expedient of electing each other, 
there's no business for us that sell ale. 

Hastings. ■ So, then jou have no turn for 
politics, I find? 

Haedcastle. Xot in the least. There 
was a time, indeed, I fretted myself about 
the mistakes of government, like other people; 
but, finding myself every day grow more 
angry, and the government growing no bettei, 
I left it to mend itself. Since tjiat, I no 

76 She Stoops to Conquer. 

more trouble iny head about Heydei' Allyy 
cr AUij Cawn, thau about Ally Croaker. 
Sir, my service to you. 

Hastin-gs. So that, with eating above 
stairs, and drinking below, with receiving 
your friends within, and amusing them with- 
out, you lead a good pleasant bustling life 
of it. 

Haedcastle. I do stir about a great deal, 
that's certain. Half the differences of the 
parish are adjusted, in this very parlor. 

]\Iaelow (after drinking). And you have 
an argument in your cup, old gentleman, 
better than any in Westminster Hall. 

Haedcastle. Ay, young gentleman, that, 
and a little philosophy. 

Maelow (aside). Well, this is the fii^t 
time I ever heard of an innkeeper's philoso 

Hastings. So then, like an experienced 
general, you attack them on every quarter. 
If you find their reason manageable, you 
attack it with your philosophy; if you find 

Slie Stoops to Conquer. 77 

they have no reason, you attack them with 
this. Here's your health, my philosopher. 


Habdcastle. Good, very good, thank 
;you; ha! ha! Your generalship puts me in 
mind of Prince Eugene, when he fought the 
Turks at the battle of Belgrade. You shall 

Marlow. Instead of the battle of Bel- 
grade, I believe it's almost time to talk about 
supper. Wbat has your philosophy got in 
the house for supper? 

Haedcastle. For supper, sir! 

(Aside). "Was ever such a request to a man 
in his own house! 

Marlow. Yes, sir, supper, sir; I begin to 
feel an appetite. I shall make devilish work 
to-night in the larder, I promise you. 

Haedcastle (aside). Such a brazen dog 
sure never my eyes beheld. (To him.) ^hy, 
really, sir, as for supper I can't well tell. 
My Dorothy, and the cook maid, settle these 
things between them. I leave these kind of 
things entirely to them. 

78 She Stoops to Conqu 


Maelow. You do, do you? 

Hakdcastle. Entirelj. By-the-bje, I 
believe thej are in actual consultation upon 
Tvkat^s for supper this moment in the kitchen. 

Mablow. Then I beg the/U admit Die 
as one of their privy counsel. It's a way I 
have got. When I travel, I always choose 
to regulate my own supper Let the cook 
be called. ISTo offence, I hope, sir? 

Haedcastle. no, sir, none in the least; 
yet, I don't know how : our Bridget, the cook 
maid, is not yevj communicative upon these 
occasions. Should we send for her, she might 
scold us all out of the house. 

Hastings. Let's see your list of the larder, 
then. I ask it as a favor. I always match 
my appetite to my bill of fare. 

Marlow {to Haedcastle, who looks at 
them icith surprise). Sir, he's very right, 
and it^s my way, too. 

Haedcastle. Sir, you have a right to 
command here. Here, E-oger, bring us the 
bill of fare for to-night^s supper. I believe 
it's drawn out. Your manner, Mr. Hastings, 

She Stoops to Conquer. 79 

puts me in mind, of mj uncle, Colonel Wallop. 
It was a saying of his, that no man was sure 
of his supper till he had eaten it. 

Hastings (aside). All upon the high 
rop€s! His uncle a colonel! "We shall soon 
hear of his mother being a justice of peace. 
But let's hear the bill of fare. 

Mablow (perusing). What's here? For 
the first course J for the second course; for 
tliC dessert. The devil, sir, do you think we 
have brought down the whole Joiners' Com- 
pany, or the Corporation of Bedford, to eat 
up such a supper? Two or three little things^ 
clean and comfortable, will do. 

Hastings. But let's hear it. 

Maklow (reading). For the first course 
at the top, a pig, and prune sauce. 

Hastings. Damn your pig, I say! 

Mablow. And damn your prune sauce, 
say I! 

Habdcastle. And yet, gentlemen, to men 
that are hungry, pig, with prune sauce, ia 
7ery good eating. 

80 She Stoops to Co'iiquer. 

Marlow. At the bottom, a calf's tongue 
and brains. 

Hastings. Let jour brains be knocked 
out, mj good sir; I don^t like them. 

Marlow. Or jou may clap tliem on a 
plate by themselves, I do. 

Haedcastle (aside). Their impudence 
confounds me. (To them.) G-entlemen, you 
are my guests, make what alterations you 
please. Is there anything else you wish to 
retrench or alter, gentlemen? 

Maelow. Item. A pork pie, a boiled 
rabbit and sausages, a florentine, a shaking 
pudding, and a dish of tiff — taff — taffety 

Hastings. Confound your made dishes, I 
shall be as much at a loss in this house as at 
a green and yellow dinner at the French am- 
bassador's table. I'm for plain eating. 

Hardcastle. I'm sorry, gentlemen, that 
I have nothing you like, but if there be any- 
thing you have a particular fancy to 

]\Iaelow. Why, raally, sir, your bill of 
fare is so exquisite, that any one part of it 

She S4;cK>ps to Conquer. 81 

is full as good as another. Send us what 
you please.. So much for supper. And now 
to see that our beds are aired, and properly 
taken care of. 

TTabdcastle. I entreat you'll leave all 
that to me. You shall not stir a step. 

Maelow. Leave that to you! I protest, 
sir, you must excuse me, I always look to 
these things myself. 

Hakdcastle. I must insist, sir, you'll 
make yourseK easy on that head. 

Marlow. You see I'm resolved on it. — 
(Aside.) A very troublesome fellow this, as 
ever I met with. 

B[aedcastle. Well, sir, I'm resolved at 
least to attend you. — (Aside.) This may be 
modem modesty, but I never saw any any- 
thing look SO' like old-fashioned impudence. 
[Exeunt Marlow and Kardcastle. 

Hastlxgs solus. 

Hastings. So I find this fellow's civilities 
begin to grow troublesome. But who can be 
angry at those assiduities which are meant 

82 She Stoops to Conquer. 

to please bim? Ha! what do I see? Miss 
]N'eville, by all that's happy! 

Enter Miss Neville. 

Miss Xeville. My dear Hastings ! To 
what unexpected good fortune^ — to what acci- 
dent am I to ascribe this happy meeting? 

Hastik^gs. Rather let me ask the same 
question, as I could never have hoped to meet 
my dearest Constance at an inn. 

Miss jSTeville. An inn ! sure you mistake ! 
ray aunt^ my guardian, lives here. What 
could induce you to think this house an inn? 

Hastings. My friend, Mr. Marlow, with 
whom I came dowTi, and I, have been sent 
here as to an inn, I assure you. A young 
fellow whom we accidentally met at a house 
hard by directed us hither. 

Miss Seville. Certainly it must be one 
of my hopeful cousin's tricks, of whom you 
have heard me t^lk so often, ha! ha! ha! ha! 

Hastings. He whom your aunt intends 
for you? He of whom I have such just ap- 

She Stoops to Conquer. 83 

Miss ^^eville. You have nothing to fear 
from him, I assure you. You'd adore him 
if you knew how heartily he despises me. 
Aly aunt knows it too, and has undertaken 
to court me for him, and actually begins to 
think she has made a conquest. 

Hastings. Thou dear dissembler! You 
must know, my Constance, I have just seized 
this happy opportunity of my friend^s visit 
here to get admittance into the family. The 
horses that carried us down are now fatigued 
with their journey, but they'll soon be re- 
freshed; and then, if my dearest girl will 
trust in her faithful Hastings, we shall soon 
be landed in France, where even among 
slaves the laws of marriage are respected. 

Miss Neville. I have often told you, 
that though ready to obey you, I yet should 
leave my little fortune behind vnth reluct- 
ance. The greatest part of it w^as left me 
by my uncle, the India Director, and chiefly 
Consists in jewels. I have been for some time 
persuading my aunt to let me wear them. 
I fancy I'm very near succeeding. The in- 

84 She Stoops to Conquer. 

slant they are put into mj possession you 
shall find me ready tO' make them and myself 

Hastings. Perish the baubles! Your per- 
son is all I desire. In the meantime, my 
friend Marlow must not be let into his mis- 
take. I know the strange reserve of his 
temper is such, that if abruptly informed of 
it, he would instantly quit the house before 
our plan was ripe for execution. 

Miss N'eville. But how shall we keep 
him in the deception? Miss Hardcastle is 
just returned from walking; what if we still 
continue to deceive him? — This, this way — • 

IThey confer. 

Enter Marlow. 

Marlow. The assiduities of these good 
people tease me beyond bearing. My host 
seems to think it ill manners to leave me alone, 
and so he claps not only himseK, but bis old- 
fashioned wife on my back. They talk of 
coming to sup with us, too; and then, I sup- 
pose we are to run the gauntlet through all 

She Stoops to Cooiquer. 85 

the rest of the family. — What have we got 
here ? 

Hastiis'gs. My dear Charles! Let me 
congratulate you! — The most fortunate acci- 
dent! — Who do you think is just alighted? 

Maklow. Cannot guess. 

Hastings. Our mistresses, boy, Miss 
Hardcastle and Miss Xeville. Give me leave 
to introduce Miss Constance ]N"eville to your 
acquaintance. Happening to dine in the 
neighborhood, they called, on their return, 
to take fresh horses here. Miss Hardcastle 
has just stept into the next room, and will be 
back in an instant. Wasn't it lucky? eh! 

Maelow (aside), I have just been morti- 
fied enough of all conscience, and here comes 
something to complete my embarrassment. 

Hasti]N'gs. Well! but wasn't it the most 
fortunate thing in the world? 

Maelow. Oh! yes. Very fortunate — a 

most joyful encounter But our dresses, 

George, you know, are in disorder ^What 

if we should postpone the happiness till to- 
morrow? To-morrow at her own house 

SQ She Stoops to Co^nquer. 
It will be every bit as co'iivenient- 

And rather more respectful Tomorrow 

let it be. [Offering to go. 

Miss Seville. Bj no means, sir. Your 
ceremony will displease her. The disorder of 
your dress will show the ardor of your im- 
patience. Besides, she knows you are in the 
house, and will permit you to see her. 

Maklow. O! the devil! how shall I sup- 
port it ? Hem ! hem ! Hastings, you must not 
go. You are to assist me, you know. I shall 
be confoundedly ridiculous. Yet, hang it! 
I'll take courage. Hem ! 

Hastings. Pshaw, man! it's but the first 
plunge, and all's over. She's but a woman, 
you know. 

Maklovs\ And of all w^omen, she that I 
dread most to encounter I 

Enter Miss Hardcastle, as returned from 
loalking, a Bonnet, et3. 

Hastings (introducing them). Miss Hard- 
castle, Mr. Marlow, I'm proud of bringing 
two persons of such merit together, that only 
want to know, to estee'm each other. 

' ■ /^'^-^^^ 


»/ r ■ ■ ■ ; :- 



" By no means, sir, Your ceremony vili displease her.' 

She Stoops to Conquer. 89 

Miss Hardcastle [aside), Xow, for meet- 
ing mv modest gentleman mth a demure face, 
and quite in his own manner. (After a pause, 
in which he appears very uneasy and dis- 
concerted.) I'm glad of jour safe arrival, sir 

I'm told you liad some accidents bj the 


Maelow. Only a few, madam. Yes, we 
had some. Yes, madam, a good many acci- 
dents, but should be sorry — madam — or 
rather glad of any accidents — that are so 
agreeably concluded. Hem! 

Hastings {to him). You never spoke bet- 
ter in your whole life. Keep it up, and I'll 
insure you the victory. 

Miss Haedcastle. I^m afraid you flatter, 
sir. You that have seen so much of the finest 
company can find little entertainment in an 
obscure comer of the country. 

Maklow {gathering courage). I have 
lived, indeed, in the world, madam; but I 
have kept very little company. I have been 
but an observer upon life, madam, while 
others were enjoying it. 

90 She Stoops to Conquer. 

Miss Neville. But that, I am told, is the 
way to enjoy it at last. 

Hastings (to him). Cicero never spoke 
better. Once more, and you are confirmed in 
assurance for ever. 

Maelow {to him). Hem! Stand by me, 
then, and when I'm down, throw in a word or 
two to set me up again. 

Miss Haedcastle. An observer, like you, 
upon life, were, I fear, disagreeably employed, 
since you must have had much more to cen- 
sure than to approve. 

Marlow. Pardon me, madam. I was 
always willing to be amused. The folly of 
most people is rather an object of mirth than 

Hastings {to him). Bravo, bravo. !N'ever 
spoke so well in your whole life. Well, Miss 
Hardcastle, I see that you and Mr. Marlow are 
going to be very good company. I believe 
our being here will but embarrass the inter- 

Marlow. Not in the least, Mr. Hastings. 
"We like your company of all things. {To 

She Stoops to Conquer. 91 

him.) Zounds! George, sure you won't go? 
How can you leave us ? 

Hastings. Our presence will but spoil 
conversation, so we'll retire to the next room. 
(To him.) You don't consider, man, that we 
are to manage a little tete-a-tete of our own. 


Miss Haedcastle (after a pause). But 
jou have not been wholly an observer, I pre- 
sume, sir. The ladies, I should hope, have 
employed some part of your addresses. 

Maklow (relapsing into timidity). Par- 
don me, madam, I — I — I — as yet have 
studied — only — to — deserve them. 

Miss Hardcastle. And that some say is 
the very worst way to obtain them. 

Maelow. Perhaps so, madam. But I love 
to converse only with the more grave and sen- 
sible part of the sex. But I'm afrail I 

gTow tiresome. 

Miss Haedcastle. IN'ot at nil, sir; there 
is nothing I like so much as grave conversa- 
tion myself: I could hear it for ever. Indeed, 
I have often been surprised how a man of 

92 She Stoops to Conquei. 

sentiment could ever admire those light airy 
pleasures,, where nothing reaches the heart. 

Maelow. It's — a disease — of the mind, 
madam. In the variety of tastes there must 
be some who, wanting a relish for — um-a-um. 

Miss Hardcastle. I understand you, sir. 
There must be some, who, wanting a rehsh for 
refined pleasures, pretend to despise what they 
are incapable of tasting. 

Ma BLOW. My meaning, madam, but in- 
finitely better expressed. And I can't help 
obser\ — ^a — 

!Miss Hardcastle (aside). Who could 
ever suj)pose this fellow impudent upon some 
occasions? {To Mm.) You were going to ob- 
serve, sir — 

Maklow. I was observing, madam 1 

protest, madam, I forget what I was going to 

Miss Hardcastle (aside). I vow and so 
do I. (To him.) You were observing, sir, 
that in this age of hypocrisy — something 
about hypocrisy, sir. 

Maklow. Yes, madam. In this age cj 

She Stoops to Conquer. 93 

hypocrisj, there are few who upon strict in- 
quiry do not — a — a — a — 

Miss Haedcastle. I understand you per- 
fectly, sir. 

Maelow (aside). Egad I and that's more 
than I do myself! 

]\Iiss Haedcastle. You mean that in this 
hypocritical age there are few that do not con- 
demn in public what they practise in private, 
and think they pay every debt to "vdrtue when 
they praise it. 

Maelow. True, madam; those who have 
most virtue in their mouths, have least of it 
in their bosoms. But I'm sure I tire you, 

Miss Haedcastle. iSTot in the least, sir; 
there's something so agreeable and spirited in 
your manner, such life and force — pray, sir, 
go on. 

Maelow. Yes, madam. I was saying — 
that there are some occasions — when a total 
want of courage, madam, destroys all the — • 
and puts us — upon a — a — a — 

[Miss Haedcastle. I agree with you en- 

94 Slie Stoops to Conquer. 

tirely, a want of courage upon some occasions 
assumes the appearance of ignorance, and be- 
trays us when we most want to excel. I beg 
you'll proceed. 

Marlow. Yes, madam. Morally speak- 
ing, madam — But I see Miss ITeville expect- 
ing us in the next room. I would not intrude 
for the world. 

Miss Hardcastle. I protest, sir, I never 
was more agreeably entertained in all my life. 
Pray go on. 

Marlow. Yes, madam. I was— But she 
beckons us to join her. Madam, shall I do 
myseK the honor to attend you ? 

Miss Hardcastle. Well then, I'll follow. 

Marlow (aside). This pretty smooth dia- 
logue has done for me. lEwit. 

Miss Hardcastle sola. 

Miss Hardcastle. Ha! ha! ha! Was 
there ever such a sober sentimental interview ? 
I'm certain he scarce looked in my face the 
whole time. Yet the fellow, but for his unac- 
countable bashfulness, is pretty well, too. He 

If / 1 

" I protest, sir, I never was more agreeably entertained in att my life. 
95 — 96 

She Stoops to Conquer. 97 

has good sense, but then so buried in his fears, 
that it fatigues one more than ignorance. If I 
could teach him a little confidence, it would 
be doing somebody that I know of a piece of 
service. But who is that somebody? — that, 
faith, is a question I can scarce answer. 


Enter Tony and Miss E'eyille, followed hij 
Mrs. Hardcastle and Hastings. 

Tony. What do you follow me for, cousin 
Con? I wonder you're not ashamed to be so 
very engaging. 

Miss JSTeville. I hope, cousin, one may 
speak to one's own relations, and not be to 

Tony. Ay, but I know what sort of a re- 
lation you want to make me, though; but it 
won't do. I tell you, cousin Con, it won't do, 
so I beg you'll keep your distance, I want no 
nearer relationship. 

\_Slie folloics coquetting him to 
the hack scene. 

Mrs. Hardcastle. Well! I vow, Mr. 

98 She St(X>ps to Conquer. 

Hastings, you are very entertaining. There's 
nothing in the world I love to talk of so much 
as London, and the fashions, though I was 
never there myself. 

Hastings. IsTever there! You amaze me! 
From your air and manner, I concluded you 
had been bred all your life either at Kanelagh, 
St. James's, or Tower Wharf. 

Mes. Haedcastle. O! sir, you're only 
pleased to say so. We country persons can 
have no manner at all. I'm in love with the 
town, and that serves to raise me above some 
of our neighboring rustics; but who can have 
a manner, that has never seen the Pantheon, 
the Grotto Gardens, the Borough, and such 
places where the nobility chiefly resort? All 
I can do is to enjoy London at second-hand. 
I take care to know every tSte-d-tete from the 
Scandalous Magazine, and have all the fash- 
ions as they come out, in a letter from the two 
Miss Eickets of Crooked Lane. Pray how do 
you like this head; Mr. Hastings ? 

Hastiis^gs. Extremely elegant and dega- 
gSe, upon my word, madam. Your friseur is 
a Frenchman, I suppose? 




r£ F\ "^#'U 


vf y-.^ Y |ri 

" Pray, how do you like this head, Mr, Hastings? " 

She Stoops to Conquer. 101 

Mrs. Haedcastle. I protest, I dressed it 
myself from a print in tlie Ladies' Memoran- 
dum-book for the last year. 

HastiisGS. Indeed! Such a head in a 
side-box, at the Play-house, would draw as 
many gazers as my Lady Mayoress at a City 

Mks. Haedcastle. I vow, since inocula- 
tion began, there is no such thing to be seen 
as a plain woman; so one must dress a little 
particular or one may escape in the crowd. 

Hastings. But that can never be your 
case, madam, in any dress! (Bow in r/.) 

Mes. Haedcastle. Yet, what signifies duj 
dressing when I have such a piece of antiquity 
by my side as Mr. Hardcastle: all I can say 
will never argue down a single button from 
his clothes. I have often wanted him ta 
throw off his great flaxen vdg, and where he 
was bald, to plaster it over like my Lord 
Pately, wdth powder. 

Hastings. You are right, madam; for, as 
among the ladies there are none ugly, so 
among the men there are none old. 

102 She Stoops to Conquer, 

Mes. Hakdcastle. But what do you 
think his answer was? Why, with his usual 
Gothic vivacity, he said I only wanted him to 
throw off his wig to convert it into a tete for 
nay own wearing! 

Hastings. Intolerable ! At your age you 
may wear what you please, and it must be- 
come you. 

Mrs. Hakdcastle. Pray, llr. Hastings, 
what do you take to be the most fashionable 
age about town ? 

Hastings. Some time ago forty was all 
the mode; but I'm told the ladies intend to 
bring up fifty for the ensuing winter. 

Mes. Hakdcastle. Seriously? Then I 
shall be too young for the fashion ! 

Hastings. ]^o lady begins now to put on 
jewels till she's past forty. For instance, miss 
there, in a polite circle, would be considered 
as a child, as a mere maker of samplers. 

Mes. Hakdcastle. And yet Mrs. ^N'iece 
thinks herself as much a woman, and is as 
fond of jewels as the oldest of us all. 

Hastings. Your niece, is she? And that 

Slie Stoops to Conquer. 103 

young gentleman, a brother of yours, I should 
presume ? 

Mrs. Hardcastle. My son, sir. They 
are contracted to each other. Observe their 
little sports. They fall in and out ten times a 
day, as if they were man and wife already. 
{To them,) AVell, Tony, child, what soft 
things are you saying to your Cousin Con- 
stance, this evening? 

ToxY. I have been saying no soft things; 
but that it's very hard to be followed about 
so. Ecod! I've not a place in the house now 
that's left to myself but the stable. 

Mrs. Hardcastle. Xever mind him. 
Con, my dear. He's in another stor)^ behind 
your back. 

Miss ^N^eville. There's something gener- 
ous in my cousin's manner. He falls out be- 
fore faces to be forgiven in private. 

Tomr. That's a damned confounded 


Mrs. Hardcastle. Ah! he's a sly one. 
Don't you think they're like each other about 
th'' <nouth, Mr. Hastings? The Blenkinsop 

104 She Stoops to Conquer. 

moutli to a T. They're of a size too. Back to 
back, my pretties, that llr. Hastings may see 
you. Come, Tony. 

Tony. You had as good not make me, I 
tell you. [Measitring. 

Miss Xeville. lud! he has almost 
cracked my head. 

Mes. Haedcastle. O, the monster! For 
shaine, Tony. You a man, and behave so ! 

ToxY. If I'm a man, let me have my 
fortin. Ecod! I'll not be made a fool of no 

Mes. Haedcastle. Is this, ungrateful 
boy, all that I'm to get for the pains I have 
taken in your education ? I that have rocked 
you in your cradle, and fed that pretty mouth 
vdth a spoon! Did not I work that v^aistcoat 
to make you genteel ? Did not I prescribe for 
you every day, and weep while the receipt was 

Tony. Ecod! you had reason to weep, for 
you have been dosing me ever since I was 
born. I have gone through every receipt in 
the Complete Housewife ten times over; and 

She 'Stoops to Conquer. 106 

you have thoughts of coursing me through 
Quincy next spring. But, ecod! I tell you, 
I'll not be made a fool of no longer. 

Mes. Haedcastle. AVasn't it all for your 
good, viper ? Wasn't it all for your good ? 

ToxY. I wish you'd let me and my good 
alone, then. Snubbing this way when I'm in 
spirits ! If I'm to have any good, let it come 
of itself; not to keep dinging it, dinging it 
into one so. 

Mrs. Haedcastle. That's false; I never 
see you when you're in spirits. N^o, Tony, 
you then go to the alehouse or kennel. T'm 
never to be delighted with your agreeable, 
\\dld notes, unfeeling monster! 

Tony, Ecod! Mamma, your o^vn notes 
are the wildest of the two. 

Mes. Haedcastle. "Was ever the like? 
But I see he wants to break my heart, I see 
he does. 

Hastings. Dear Madam, permit me to 
lecture the young gentleman a little. I'm 
certain I can persuade him to his duty. 

Mes. Haedcastle. Well! I must retire. 

106 She Stoops to Conquer. 

Come, Constance, my love. You see, Mr. 
Hastings, the wretchedness of my situation. 
Was ever poor woman so plagued with a dear, 
sweet, pretty, provoking, undutif ul boy ! 

[Eweunt Mrs. Haedcastle and Miss 


Hastings. Towy. 

Tony (singing). There teas a young man 
riding &?/, and fain iconld have his loill. 
Rang do didJo dee. Doii't mind her. Let her 
cr}'." It's the comfort of her heart. I have 
seen her and sister cry over a book for an 
hour together, and they said, they liked the 
book the better the more it made them cry. 

Hastings; Then you're no friend to the 
ladies, I find, my pretty young gentleman? 

Tony. That's as I find 'um. 

Hastings. J^ot to her of your mother's 
choosing, I dare answer ! And yet she appears 
to me a pretty, well-tempered girl. 

Tony. That's because you don't know her 
as well as I. Ecod ! I knov%^ every inch about 

She Stoops to Conquer. 107 

ter; and there's not a more bitter cantanker- 
ous toad in all Ckristendom! 

Hastings (aside). Pretty encouragement, 
this, for a lover I 

ToxY. I have seen her since the height of 
that. She has as many tricks as a hare in a 
thicket, or a colt the first day's breaking. 

Hastixgs. To me she appears sensible and 
silent ! 

ToxY. Ay, before company. But when 
she's with her playmates she's as loud as a hog 
in a gate. 

Hastings. But there is a meek modesty 
about her that charms me. 

ToxY. Yes, but curb her never so little, 
she kicks up, and you're flung in a ditch. 

Hastings. AVell, but you must allow her 
a little beauty. Yes, you must allow her 
some beauty. 

Tony. Bandbox! She's all a made up 
tiling, mun. Ah! could you but see Bet 
Bouncer of these parts, you might then t^lk 
of beauty. Ecod, she has two eyes as black as 

108 She Stoops to Conquer. 

sloes, and cheeks as broad and red as a pulpit 
cushion. She'd make two of she. 

Hastiis'gs. "Well, what say you to a friend 
that would take this bitter bargain off your 

Tojs^y. Anon. 

Hastings. "Would you thank him that 
would take Miss Seville, and leave you to 
happiness and your dear Betsy? 

ToN^y. Ay; but where is there such a 
friend, for who would take her f 

HASTirs"GS. I am he. If you but assist me, 
I'll engage to whip her off to France, and you 
shall never hear more of her. 

Tony. Assist you ! Ecod, I will, to the 
last drop of my blood. I'll clap a pair of 
horses to your chaise that shall trundle you off 
in a twinkling, and maybe get you a part of 
her fortin besides, in jewels, that you little 
dream of. 

Hastings. My dear 'Squire, this looks 
like a lad of spirit. 

Tony. Come along then, and you shall see 

She Stoops to Conquer. 109 

more of my spirit before jou have done with 
me. ^Singing. 

We are the boys 

That fears no noise 

Where the thundering- cannons roar. 



110 She Stoops to Conquer, 

ACT in 

Enter Hardcastle solus, 

Hardcastle. What could my old friend 
Sir Charles mean by recommending his son as 
the modestest young man in town ? To me he 
appears the most impudent piece of brass that 
ever spoke mth a tongue. He has taken 
possession of the easy chair by the fireside 
already. He took off his boots in the parlor, 
and desired me to see them taken care of. I'm 
desirous to know how his impudence affects 
my daughter. — She will certainly be shocked 
at it. 

Enter Miss Hardcastle, plainly dressed, 

Hardcastle. Well, my Kate, I see you 
have changed your dress as I bid you ; and yet, 
I believe, there was no great occasion. 

Miss Hardcastle. I find such a pleasure, 
sir, in obeying your commands, that I take 
care to observe them without ever debating 
their propriety. 

She Stoops to Conquer. Ill 

Hardcastle. And yet, Kate, I sometimes 
give you some cause, particularly when I re- 
commended my modest gentleman to you as a 
lover to-day. 

Miss Hardcastle. You taught me to ex- 
pect something extraordinary, and I find the 
original exceeds the description! 

Hardcastle. I was never so surj)rised in 
my life! He has quite confounded all my 
faculties ! 

Miss Hardcastle. I never saw anything 
like it : And a man of the world, too ! 

Hardcastle. Ay, he learned it all abroad, 
— what a fool was I, to think a young man 
could learn modesty by traveling ! He might 
as soon learn wit at a masquerade. 

Miss Hardcastle. It seems all natural to 

Hardcastle. A good deal assisted by bad 
company and a French dancing-master. 

Miss Hardcastle. Sure, you mistake, 
papa! a French dancing-master could never 
have taught him that timid look, — that 
awkward address, — that bashful manner 

112 She Stoops to Conquer. 

Haedcastle. Whose look? whose man- 
ner? child! 

Miss Hakdcastle. Mr. Marlow's: his 
mauvaise lionte, his timidity struck me at the 
fii'st sight. 

Hakdcastle. Then your first sight de- 
ceived you; for I think him one of the most 
brazen first sights that ever astonished my 
senses ! 

Miss BLakdcastle. Siu-e, sir, you rally! I 
never saw any one so modest. 

Haedoastle. And can you be serious! I 
never saw such a bouncing, svv^aggering puppy 
since I was bom. Bully Dawson was but a 
fool to him. 

Miss Haedcastle. Surprising! He met 
me with a respectful bow, a stammering voice, 
and a look fixed on the ground. 

Hakdcastle. He met me with a loud 
voice, a lordly air, and a familiarity that made 
my blood freeze again. 

Miss Hakdcastle. He treated me with 
diffidence and respect; censured the manners 
of the age ; admired the prudence of girls that 

She Stoops to Conquer. 113 

never laughed; tired me with apologies for 
being tiresome; then left the room with a bow, 
and, '^Madam, I would not for the world de- 
tain jou." 

Hakdcastle. lie spoke to me as if he 
knew me all his. life before. Asked twenty 
questions, and never waited for an answer. 
InteiTupted my best remarks with some silly 
l^un, and when I was in my best story of the 
Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene, he 
asked if I had not a good hand at making 
punch. Yes, Kate, he asked your father if he 
was a maker of punch ! 

Miss Hakdcastle. One of us must cer- 
tainly be mistaken. 

Haedcastle. If he be what he has shown 
himself, I'm determined he shall never have 
my consent. 

Miss Haedcastle. And if he be the 
sullen thing I take him, he shall never have 

Hakdcastle. In one thing then we are 
agreed — to reject him. 

Miss Hakdcastle. Yes. But upon condi- 

114 She Stoops to Conquer. 

tions. For if you should find him less impude-nt, 
and I more presuming; if jou find him more 
respectful, and I more importunate — I don't 
know — the fellow is well enough for a man — 
Certainly we don't meet many such at a horse 
race in the country. 

Hakdcastle. If we should find him so — 
But that's impossible. The first appearance 
has done my business. I'm seldom deceived 
in that. 

Miss Hardcastle. And yet there may be 
many good qualities under that first appear- 

Hakdcastle. Ay, when a girl finds a 
fellow's outside to her taste, she then sets 
about guessing the rest of his furniture. 
"With her, a smooth face stands for good sense, 
and a genteel figure for every virtue. 

Miss Haedcastle. I hope, sir, a conversa- 
tion begun with a compliment to my- good 
sense won't end with a sneer at my under- 

Haudcastle. Pardon me, Kate. But if 
young Mr. Brazen can find the art of recon- 

She Stoops to Conquer. 115 

ciling contradictions, he may please us both, 

Miss Hardcastle. And as one of us must 
be mistaken, what if we go to make further 

Hardcastle. Agreed. But depend on't 
I'm in the right. 

Miss Hardcastle. And depend on't I'm 
not much in the wrong. ^Exeunt. 

Enter Toxy running in tcith a casket. 

Tony. Ecod! I have got them. Here 
they are. My Cousin Con's necklaces, bobs 
and all. My mother shan't cheat the poor 
souls out of their fortin neither. 0! my 
genus, is that you? 

Enter Hastings. 
Hastings. My dear friend, how have you 
managed with your mother? I hope you have 
amused her with pretending love for your 
cousin, and that you are willing to be recon- 
ciled at last? Our horses will be refreshed in 
a short time, and we shall soon be ready to set 

116 She Stoops to Conquer. 

Toi^^Y. And here's something to bear your 
charges by the way. {Giving the casket.) 
Your sweetheart's jewels. Keep the^ii, and 
hang those, I say, that would rob you of one 
of them! 

Hastiis^gs. But how have you procured 
them from your mother ? 

ToxY. Ask me no questions, and I'll tell 
you no fibs. I procured them by the rule of 
thumb. If I had not a key to eveiy drawer in 
mother's bureau, how could I go to the ale- 
house so often as I do ? An honest man may 
rob himself of his own at any time. 

IIasti:sgs. Thousands do it every day. 
But to be plain with you; Miss Xeville is 
endeavoring to procure them from her aunt 
this very instant. If she succeeds, it will be 
the most delicate Avay at least of obtaining 

ToxY. Well, keep them, till you know 
how it will be. But I know how it will be 
well enough, she'd as soon j^art with the only 
sound tooth in her head ! 

Hastixgs. But I dread the effects of her 
resentment, when she finds she has lost them. 

She Stoops to Conquer. 117 

Tony. Xever you mind her resentment, 
leave me to manage that. I don't value her 
resentment the bounce of a cracker. Zounds! 
here thev are ! Morrice, Prance ! 

\_Exit Hastings. 

Tony, Mrs. Haedcastle, Miss Xeville. 

Mrs. Hardcastle. Indeed, Constance, 
you amaze me. Such a girl as you want 
jewels I It will be time enough for jewels, my 
dear, twenty years hence, when your beauty 
begins to want repairs. 

Miss Xeville. But what will repair 
beauty at forty, will certainly improve it at 
twenty, madam. 

Mrs. Hardcastle. Yours, my dear, can 
admit of none. That natural blush is beyond 
a thousand ornaments. Besides, child, jewels 
are quite out at present. Don't you see half 
the ladies of our acquaintance, my lady Kill- 
daylight^ and Mrs. Crump, and the rest of 
them, carry their jewels to town, and bring 
nothing but paste and marcasites back? 

Miss Xeville. But who knows, madam, 

118 She Stoops to Conquer. 

but somebody that shall be nameless would 
like me best mth all my little finery about 

Mrs. Haedcastle. Consult your glass, 
my dear, and then see, if with such a pair of 
eyes, you want any better sparklers. What 
do you think, Tony, my dear; does your 
cousin Con want any jewels, in your eyes, to 
set off her beauty ? 

Tony. That's as thereafter may be. 

Miss Xeville. My dear aunt, if you 
knew how it would oblige me' 

Mes. Hardcastle. a parcel of old- 
fashioned rose and table-cut things. They 
would make you look like the court of king 
Solomon at a puppet-show. Besides, I believe 
1 canH readily come at them. They may be 
missing, for aught I know to the contrary. 

ToxY {apart to Mrs. Hardcastle). Then 
why don't you tell her so at once, as she's so 
longing for them ? Tell her they're lost. It's 
the only way to quiet her. Say they're lost, 
and call m.e to bear witness. 

Mrs. Hardcastle {apart to Tony). You 

She Stoops to Conquer. 119 

know, my dear, I'm only keeping them for 
jou. So if I say they're gone, you'll bear me 
witness, will you? He! he! he! 

ToxY. Xever fear me. Ecod! I'll say I 
saw them taken out with my own eyes. 

Miss jSTeville. I desire them but for a 
day, madam. Just to be permitted to show 
them as relics, and then they may be locked 
up again. 

Mrs. Haedcastle. To be plain with you, 
my dear Constance, if I could find them, you 
should have them. They're missing, I assure 
you. Lost, for aught I know; but we must 
have patience wherever they are. 

]\riss Xeville. I'll not believe it; this is 
but a shallow pretence to deny me. I know 
they're too valuable to be so slightly kept, and 
as you are to answer for the loss. 

Mrs. Hardcastle. Don't be alarmed, 
Constance. If they be lost, I must restore an 
equivalent. But my son knows they are miss- 
ing, and not to be found. 

Tony. That I can bear Avitness to. They 
are missing, and not to be found, I'll take my 
oath cn't ! 

120 She Stoops to Conquer. 

Mrs. H^aedcastle. You must learn resig- 
nation, mj dear; for though we lose our for- 
tune, yet we should not lose our patience. 
See me, how calm I am ! 

Miss Xeville. Aj, people are generally 
calm at the misfortunes of others. 

Mes. Haedcastle. Xow, I wonder a girl 
of your good sense should waste a thought 
upon such trumpery. "We shall soon find 
them; and, in the meantime, you shall make 
use of my garnets till your jewels be found. 

Miss Xeville. I detest garnets ! 

Mes. Haedcastle. The most becoming 
things in the world to set off a clear complex- 
ion. You have often seen how well they look 
u]3on me. You shall have them. \_ExU. 

Miss Xeville. I dislike them of all 
thing's. You shan't stir. — Was ever anything 
so provoking, to mislay my o^vn jewels, and 
force me to wear her trumpery. 

ToxY. Don't be a fool. If she gives you 
the garnets, take what you can get. The 
jewels are your own already. I have stolen 
them out of her bureau, and she does nc4 

-T /I /iy'7,4 



I detest garnets, 
121 — IL'2 

She Stoops to Conquer. 123 

know it. Ylj to your spark, he'll tell jou 
more of the matter. Leave me to manage her. 

Miss ^Neville. My dear cousin! 

ToxY. Vanish. She's here, and has 
missed them already. Zounds! how she fidgets 
and spits about like a Catharine-wheel. 

Enter Mks. Hakdcastle. 

Mrs. Hakdcastle. Confusion! thieves! 
robbers! We are cheated, plundered, broke 
open, undone! 

ToxY. What's the matter, what's the 
matter, mamma? I hope nothing has hap- 
pened to any of the good family ! 

Mes. Hakdcastle. We are robbed. My 
bureau has been broke open, the jewels taken 
out, and I'm undone! 

ToxY. Oh! is that all? Ha! ha! ha! By 
the laws, I never saw it better acted in my life. 
Ecod, I thought you was ruined in earnest, 
ha, ha, ha! 

Mrs. Hakdcastle. Why, boy, I am 
ruined in earnest. My bureau has been broke 
open, and all taken away. 

124 She Stoops to Conquer. 

ToKf. Stick to tliat; ha, ha, ha! stick to 
that, ni bear witness, you know, call me to 
bear witness. 

Mes. Hardcastle. I tell you, Tony, by 
all that's precious, the jewels are gone, and I 
shall be ruined for ever. 

ToxY. Sure I know they're gone, and I 
am to say so. 

Mes. Hardcastle. ]My dearest Tony, but 
hear me. They're gone, I say. 

ToxY. By the laws, mamma, you make 
me for to laugh, ha ! ha ! I know who took 
them well enough, ha ! ha ! ha ! 

Mrs. Hardcastle. TTas there ever such 
a blockhead, that can't tell the difference be- 
tween jest and earnest? I tell you I'm not in 
jest, booby ! 

ToxY. That's right, that's right: You 
must be in a bitter passion, and then nobody 
will suspect either of us. I'll bear witness 
that they are gone. 

Mrs. Hardcastle. "Was there ever such 
a cross-grained brute, that won't hear me! 
Can vou bear witness that you're no better 

She Stoops to Conquer. 125 

than a fool? Was ever poor woman so beset 
with fools on one hand, and thieves on the 

ToxY. I can bear witness to that. 

^Irs. Haedcastle. Bear witness again, 
you blockhead, you, and I'll turn you out of 
the room directly. My poor niece, what will 
become of her f Do you laugh, you unfeeling 
brute, as if you enjoyed my distress? 

Tony. I can bear witness to that. 

Mes. Haedcastle. Do you insult me, 
monster? I'll teach you to vex your mother, 
I will! 

Tony. I can bear witness to that. 

[He runs off, she follows Mm. 

Enter Miss Hakdcastle and Maid. 

Miss Hakdcastle. What an unaccount- 
able creature is that brother of mine, to send 
them to the house as an inn, ha ! ha ! I don't 
wonder at his impudence. 

Maid. But what is more, madam, the 
young gentleman as you passed by in your 
present dress, asked me if you were the bar- 

126 She Stoops to Conquer. 

maid? He mistook you for the barmaid, 
madam ! 

Miss Hakdcastle. Did lie? Then as I 
live I'm resolved to keep up the delusion. Tell 
me, Pimple, how do jou like my present 
dress? Don't you think I look something like 
Cherry in the Beaux' Stratagem? 

Maid. It's the dress, madam, that every 
lady wears in the country, but when ghe visits 
or receives company. 

Miss Hakdcastle. And are you sure he 
does not remember my face or person ? 

Maid.. Certain of it! 

Miss Hakdcastle. I vow, I thought so* 
for though we spoke for some time together, 
yet his fears were such, that he never once 
looked up during the interview. Indeed, if he 
had, my bonnet would have kept him from 
seeing me. 

Maid. But what do you hope from keep- 
ing him in his mistake? 

Miss Hakdcastle. In the first place, I 
shall be seen, and that is no small advantage 
to a girl who brings her face to market. Then 

She Stoops to Conquer. 127 

I shall perhaps make an acquaintance, and 
that's no small victory gained over one who 
never addresses any but the ^vildest of her sex. 
But my chief aim is to take my gentleman off 
his guard, and like an in\dsible champion of 
romance examine the giant's force before I 
offer to combat. 

^Iaid. But you are sure you can act your 
part, and disguise your voice, so that he may 
mistake that, as he has already mistaken your 

Miss Hardcastle. Xever fear me. I 
think I have got the true bar cant. — Did your 
honor call? Attend the Lion there. — Pipes 
and tobacco for the Angel. — The Lamb has 
been outrageous this half hour ! 

Maid. It will do, madam. But he's here. 

[Exit Maid. 

Enter Marlow. 

Marlow. What a bawling in every part 
of the house! I have scarce a moment's re- 
pose. If I go to the best room, there I find 
my host and his story. If I fly to the gaUery, 

128 Slie Stoops to Conquer. 

there we liave my hostess with her curtsey 
down to the ground. I have at last got a 
moment to myself, and now for recollection. 

[Walks and muses. 

Miss Hakdcastle. Did you call, sir? did 
your honor call? 

Maelow (musing). As for Miss Hard- 
castle, she's too grave and sentimental for me. 

Miss Hardcastle. Did your honor call? 
[She still places herself hefore Mm, 
lie turning aivay, 

Marlow. No, child! (musing). Besides, 
from the glimpse I had of her, I think she 

Miss Hardcastle. I'm sure, sir, I heard 
the bell ring. 

Marlow. No, no! (musing). I have 

pleased my father, however, by coming down, 

and I'll to-morrow please myself by returning. 

[Taldng out Ms tablets, and perusing. 

Miss Hardcastle. Perhaps the other 
gentleman called, sir? 

Marlow. I tell you, no. 

Miss Hardcastle. I should be glad to 
know, sir. We have such a parcel of servants. 

Slie Stoops to Conquer. 129 

Marlow. ^o, no, I tell you. (Looks full 
in her face.) Yes, child, I think I did call. 
I wanted — I wanted — I vow, child, you are 
vastly handsome! 

Miss Haedcastle. la, sir, you'll make 
one ashamed. 

Marlow. Xever saw a more sprightly 
malicious eye. Yes, yes, my dear, I did call. 
Have you got any of your — a — wdiat d'ye call 
it in the house? 

Miss IIardcastle. Xo, sir, we have been 
out of that these ten days. 

Marlow. One may call in this house, I 
find to very little purpose. Suppose I should 
call for a taste, just by way of trial, of the 
nectar of your lips; perhaps I might be dis- 
appointed in that, too! 

Miss Hardcastle. ]^ectar! nectar! that's 
a liquor there's no call for in these parts. 
French, I suppose. We keep no French wines 
here, sir. 

Marlow. Of true English growth, I 
assure you. 

Miss Hardcastle, Then it's odd I should 

130 Slie Stoops to Conquer. 

not know it. We brew all sorts of wines in 
this house, and I have lived, here these eigh- 
teen years. 

Marlow. Eighteen years! Why, one 
would think, child, you kept the bar before 
you were born. How old are you ? 

Hiss Hardcastle. O ! sir, I must not tell 
my age. They say women and music should 
never be dated. 

Marlow. To guess at this distance, you 
can't be much above forty. {Approaching.) 
Yet nearer I don't think so much. (Ap- 
proaching.) By coming close to some women 
they look younger still; but when we come 
very close indeed — (Attempting to hiss her.) 

Miss Hardcastle. Pray, sii', keep your 
distance. One would think you wanted to 
know one's age as they do horses', by mai'k 
of mouth. 

Marlow. I protest, child, you use me ex- 
tremely ill. If you keep me at this distance, 
how is it possible you and I can be ever ac- 
quainted ? 

Miss Hardcastle. And who wants to be 

' Yes, child, I think I did call.' 


She Stoops to Conquer. 133 

acquainted with joul I want no such ac- 
quaintance, not I. I'm sure jou did not treat 
Miss Hardcastle that was here awhile ago in 
this obstropalous manner. I'll warrant me, 
before her jou looked dashed, and kept bow- 
ing to the ground, and talked, for all the 
world, as if jou were before a justice of peace. 

;Maelow (aside). Egad I she has hit it, 
sure enough. (To her.) In awe of her, child? 
Hal ha! ha! A mere awkward, squinting 
thing, no, no ! I find you don't know me. I 
laughed, and rallied her a little; but I was 
unwilling to be too severe. Xo, I could not be 
too severe, curse me ! 

Miss Haedcastle. O ! then, sir, jou are a 
favorite, I find, among the ladies ? 

Mablow. Yes, mj dear, a great favorite. 
And vet, hang me, I don't see what they find 
in me to follow. At the Ladies' Club in towii 
I'm called their agreeable Rattle. Rattle, 
child, is not my real name, but one I'm known 
by. ^j name is Solomons. Mr. Solomons, 
my dear, at your service. (Offering to salute 

134 She Stoops to Conquer. 

Miss Hardcastle. Hold, sir; you were 
introducing me to your club, not to yourself. 
And you're so great a favorite there, you 

Maelow. Yes, my dear. There's Mrs. 
Mantrap, Lady Betty Blackleg, the Countess 
of Sligo, Mrs. Longhoms, old Miss Biddy 
Buckskin and your humble servant, keep up 
the spirit of the place. 

Miss Haedcastle. Then it's a very merry 
place, I suppose. 

Maelow. Yes, as merry as cards, suppers, 
■wine, and old women can make us. 

Miss Haedcastle. And their agreeable 
Rattle, ha! ha! ha! 

Maelow (aside). Egad! I don't quite like 
this chit. She looks knowing, methinks. You 
laugh, child! 

Miss Haedcastle. I can't but laugh to 
think what time they all have for minding 
their work or their family. 

Maelow (aside). All's well, she don't 
laugh at me. (To her.) Do you ever work, 

Site Stoops to Conquer. 135 

Miss Haedcastle. Ay, sure. There's not 
a screen or a quilt in the whole house but what 
can hear witness to that. 

!Marlow. Odso! Then you must show 
me your embroidery. I embroider and draw 
patterns myself a little. If you want a judge 
of your work you must apply to me. 

[Seizing her hand. 

Miss Haedcastle. Ay, but the colors 
don't look well by candle light. You shall see 
all in the morning. \_8truggVing. 

Marlow. And why not now, my angel? 
Such beauty fires beyond the power of resist- 
ence. — Pshaw I the father here I My old luck : 
I never nicked seven that I did not throw 
ames-ace three times following. 

[Exit Marlow. 

Enter Hardcastle, who stands in surprise. 

Hardcastle. So, madam! So I find this 
is your modest lover. This is your humble ad- 
mirer that kept his eyes fijced on the ground, 
and only adored at humble distance. Kate, 
Kate, art thou not ashamed to deceive your 
father so? 

136 She Stoops to Conquer. 

Miss Hakdcastle. !N^ever trust me, dear 
papa, but he's still the modest man I first took 
him for, you'll be convinced of it as well as I. 

Hakdcastle. By the hand of my body, 'I 
believe his impudence is infectious ! Didn't I 
see him seize your hand? Didn't I see him 
haul you about like a milkmaid? and now you 
t-alk of his respect and his modesty, forsooth! 

Miss Hakdcastle. But if I shortly con- 
vince you of his modesty, that he has only 
the faults that will pass off with time, and the 
virtues that will improve with age, I hope 
you'll forgive him. 

Hakdcastle. The girl would actually 
make one run mad ! I tell you I'll not be con- 
vinced. I am convinced. He has scarcely 
been three hours in the house, and he has 
already encroached on all my prerogatives. 
You may like his impudence, and call it 
modesty. But my son-in-law, madam, must 
have very different qualifications. 

Miss Hakdcastle. Sir, I ask but this 
night to convince you. 

Hakdcastle. You shall not have half the 

She Stoops to Conquer. 137 

time, for I have thoughts of turning him out 
this very hour. 

Miss Haedcastle. Give me that hour 
then, and I hope to satisfy you. 

Haedcastle. "Well, an hour let it be then. 
But I'll have no trifling with your father. 
All fair and open, do you mind me? 

Miss Haedcastle. I hope, sir, you have 
ever found that I considered your commands 
as my pride; for your kindness is such, that 
my duty as yet has been inclination. 



138 She Stoops to Conquer. 


Enter Hastings and Miss ISTeville. ♦ 

Hastings. You surj^rise me! Sir Charles 
Mar low expected here this night? Where 
have YOU had jour inf onuation ? 

Miss Xeville. You may depend upon it. 
I just saw his letter to Mr. Hardcastle, in 
which he tells him he intends setting out ? 
few hours after his son. 

Hastings. Then, my Constance, all must 
be completed before he arrives. He knows 
me; and should he find me here, would dis- 
cover my name, and perhaps my designs, to 
the rest of the family." 

Miss Seville. The jewels, I hope, are 

Harttxgs. Yes, yes. I have sent them to 
Marlow, who keeps the keys of our baggage. 
In the meantime, I'll go to j)repare matters for 
our elopement. I have had the Squire's 
promise of a fresh pair of horses; and, if I 

She Stoops to Conquer. 139 

should not see him again, will write him 
further directions. lExit. 

Miss ITeville. T^ell! success attend you. 
In the meantime, I'll go amuse my aunt with 
the old pretence of a violent passion for my 
cousin. [^Exit. 

Enter Maelow, followed by a Servant. 

Maelow. I wonder what Hastings could 
mean by sending me so valuable a thing as a 
casket to keep for him, when he knows the 
only place I have is the seat of a post-eoach 
at an Inn-door. Have you deposite<^ the 
casket with the landlady, as I ordered you? 
Have you put it into her own hands? 

Servant. Yes, your honor. 

Marlow. She said she'd keep it s^«fe, did 

Servant. Yes, she said she'd ket^* it safe 
enough ; she asked me how I came by it ? and 
she said she had a great mind to make me give 
an account of myself. [Exit Servant. 

Marlow. Ha! ha! ha! They're safe, 
however. T^hat an unaccountable set of 

140 She Stoops to Conquer. 

beings have we got amongst ! This little bar- 
maid, though, i-uns in my head most strangely, 
and drives out the absurdities of all the rest 
of the family. She's mine, she must be mine, 
or I'm gTeatly mistaken ! 

Enter Hastings. 

Hastings. Bless me ! I quite forgot to tell 
her that I intended to prepare at the bottom 
of the garden. Marlow here, and in spirits 

Maklow. Give me joy, George! Crown 
me, shadow me with laurels! Well, George, 
after all, we modest fellows don't want for 
success among the women. 

Hastings. Some women, you mean. But 
what success has your honor's modesty been 
crowned with now, that it grows so insolent 
upon us? 

Marlow. Didn't you see the tempting, 
brisk, lovely little thing that runs about the 
house with a bunch of keys to its girdle? 

Hastings. "Well! and what then? 

Maklow. She's mine, you rogue, yoxu 

She Stoops to Conquer. 141 

Such fire, such motion, such eyes, such lips — 
but egad! she would not let me kiss them 

'Hastings. But are you sure, so very sure 
of her? 

Maelow. Why, man, she talked of show- 
ing me her work above-stairs, and I am to im- 
prove the pattern. 

'Hastings. But how can you, Charles, go 
about to rob a woman of her honor? 

Maelow. Pshaw ! pshaw ! we all know the 
honor of the barmaid of an inn. I don't in- 
tend to rob her; take my word for it, there's 
nothing in this house I shan't honestly pay 

Hastings. I believe the girl has virtue. 

Maelow. And if she has, I should be the 
last man in the world that would attempt to 
corrupt it. 

Hastings. You have taken care, I hope, 
of the casket I sent you to lock up? It's in 
safety ? 

Maelow. Yes, yes. It's safe enough. I 
have taken care of it. But how could you 

142 She Stoops to Conquer. 

think the seat of a post-coach at an Inn-door a 
place of safety? Ah! numbskull! I have 
taken better precautions for you than you did 
for yourself. I have — 

Hastings. What? 

Maklow. I have sent it to the landlady 
to keep for you. 

'Hastings. To the landlady! 

Mablow. The landlady. 

Hastings. You did ! 

Marlow. I did. She's to be answerable 
for its forth-coming, you know. 

Hastings. Yes, she^U bring it forth with 
a witness. 

Marlow. Wasn't it right? I believe 
you'll allow that I acted prudently upon this 

Hastings (aside). He must not see my 

Maelow. You seem a little disconcerted, 
though, methinks. Sure nothing has hap- 
pened ? 

Hastings, ^o, nothing. !N"ever was in 
better spirits in all my life. And so you left 

She Stoops to Conquer. 143 

it with the landlady, who, no doubt, very 
readily undertook the charge? 

Maelow. Rather too readily. For she 
not only kept the casket, but, through her 
great precaution, was going to keep the mes- 
senger too. Ha ! ha ! ha ! 

Hastings. He! he! he! They're safe, 

Maklow. As a guinea in a miser's purse. 

Hastings (aside). So now all hopes of 
fortune are at an end, and we must set off 
without it. (To Mm.) Well, Charles, I'll 
leave you to your meditations on the pretty 
barmaid, and, he! he! he! may you be as 
successful for yourself as you have been for 
me. [Exit. 

Marlow. Thank ye, George! I ask no 
more. Ha! ha! ha! 

Enter Habdcastle. 

Haedoastle. I no longer know my own 
house. It's turned all topsy-tur\y. His ser- 
vants have got drunk already. I'll bear it no 
longer, and yet, from my respect for his 

144 She Stoops to Conquer. 

father, I'll be calm. (To him.) Mr. Marlow, 
your servant. I'm jour very humble servant. 

[Bowing low. 

Marlow. Sir, your humble servant. 
{Aside.) What's to be the wonder now? 

Haedcastle. I believe, sir, you must be 
sensible, sir, that no man alive ought to be 
more welcome than your father's son, sir. I 
hope you think so? 

Marlow. I do, from my soul, sir. Idon^u 
want much entreaty. I generally make my 
father's son welcome wherever he goes. 

Haedcastle. I believe you do, from my 
soul, sir. But though I say nothing to your 
own conduct, that of your servants is insuffer- 
able. Their manner of drinking is setting a 
very bad examjole in this house, I assure you. 

Maelow. I protest, my very good sir, 
that's no fault of mine. If they don't drink 
as they ought they are to blame. I ordered 
them not to spare the cellar, I did, I assure 
you. {To the side scene.) Here, let one of 
my servants come up. {To him.) My posi- 
tive directions were, that as I did not drink 

She Stoops to Conquer. l4D 

myself, they should make up for my deticien- 
cies below. 

Haedcastle. Then they had your orders 
for what they do ! I'm satisfied ! 

]\Iaklow. They had, I assure you. You 
shall hear from one of themselves. 

Enter Servant, drunk. 

Maelow. You, Jeremy! Come forward, 
sirrah! What were my orders? Were you not 
told to drink freely, and call for what you 
thought fit, for the good of the house? 

Haedcastle (aside). I begin to lose my 

Jeeemy. Please your honor, liberty and 
Fleet Street for ever! Though I'm but a 
servant, I'm as good as another man. I'll 
drink for no man before supper, sir, dammy! 
Good liquor will sit upon a good supper, but 
a good supper will not sit upon — hiccup — 
upon my conscience, sir. 

Maelow. You see, my old friend, the 
fellow is as drunk as he can possibly be. I 
don't know what you'd have more, unless 

146 She Stoops to Conquer. 

jou'd have the poor devil soused in a beer- 

Haedcastle. Zounds! He'll drive me 
distracted if I contain myself any longer. 
Mr. Marlow Sir! I have submitted to your 
insolence for more than four hours, and I see 
no likelihood of its coming to an end. Pm 
now resolved to be master here, sir, and I de- 
sire that you and your drunken pack may 
leave my house directly. 

Marlow. Leave your house! — Sure, you 
jest, my good friend ! What, when I'm doing 
what I can to pleaso you ! 

Hardcastle. I tell you, sir, you don't 
please me; so I desire you'll leave my house. 

Marlow. Sure, you cannot be serious! 
At this time of night, and such a night ! You 
only mean to banter me! 

Hardcastle. I tell you, sir, I'm serious; 
and, now that my passions are roused, I say 
this house is mine, sir — this house is mine, and 
I command you to leave it directly. 

Harlow. Ha! ha! ha! A puddle in a 
storm. I shan't stir a step, I assure you. (In 

She Stoops to Ckynquer. 147 

a serious tone.) This your house, fellow! 
It's my house. This is my house. Mine, 
while I choose to stay. What right have you 
to bid me leave this house, sir? I never met 
with such impudence, curse me, never in my 
whole life before! 

Hardcastle. ^or I, confound me if ever 
I did ! To come to my house, to call for what 
he likes, to turn me out of my own chair, to 
insult the family, to order his servants to get 
drunk, and then to tell me This house is mine, 
sir. By all that's impudent, it makes me 
laugh. Ha! ha! ha! Pray, sir, (bantering) 
as you take the house, what think you of 
taking the rest of the furniture? There's a 
pair of silver candlesticks, and there's a fire- 
screen, and here's a pair of brazen-nosed bel- 
lows, perhaps you may take a fancy to them? 

Marlow. Bring me your bill, sir, bring 
me your bill, and let's make no more words 
about it. 

Hardcastle. There are a set of prints, 
too. "Wliat think you of the Rake's Progress 
for your own apartment ? 

148 She Stoops to Conquer. 

Maelow. Bring me your bill, I say; and 
I'll leave you and your infernal house 

Haedcastle. Then there's a mahogany 
table, that you may see your own face in. 

Maelow. My bill, I say. 

Haedcastle. I had forgot the great chair, 
for your own particular slumbers, after a 
hearty meal. 

Maelow. Zounds! bring me my bill, I 
say, and let's hear no more on't. 

Haedcastle. Young man, young man, 
from your father's letter to me, I was taught 
to expect a well-bred modest man as a visitor 
here, but now I find him no better than a cox- 
comb and a bully; but he mil be down here 
presently, and shall hear more of it. \_Exit, 

IEaelow. How's this? Sure, I have not 
mistaken the ho'use? Everything looks like 
an inn. The servants cry '^coming." The 
attendance is awkward; the barmaid, too, to 
attend us. But she's here, and will further in- 
form me. Whither so fast, child? A word 
with you. 

She Stoops to Conquer. 149 

Enter Miss Haedcastle. 

Miss Haedcastle. Let it be short, then. 
I'm in a hurr)\ — (Aside.) I believe he begins 
to find out his mistake, but it's too soon quite 
to undeceive him. 

Maelow. Pray, child, answer me one 
question. What are you, and what may your 
business in this house be? 

Miss Haedcastle. A relation of the 
family, sir. 

^Iaelow. "What? A poor relation? 

Miss Haedcastle. Yes, sir. A poor re- 
lation appointed to keep the keys, and to see 
that the guests want nothing in my power to 
give them. 

Maelow. That is, you act as the barmaid 
oi this inn. 

Miss Haedcastle. Inn! law! — ^^Tiat 
brought that in your head? One of the best 
families in the county keep an inn ! Ha, ha, 
ha, old Mr. Hardcastle's house an inn ! 

Maelow. Mr. Hardcastle's house ! Is this 
house Mr. Hardcastle's house, child? 

150 She Stoops to Conqut;.. 

Miss Haedcastle. Ay, sure. Whose else 
should it be. 

Maklow. So, then all's out, and I have 
been damnably imposed on. 0, confound my 
stupid head, I shall be laughed at over the 
whole to^^m. I shall be stuck up in caricature 
in all the print-shops. The Dullissimo Macar- 
oni! To mistake this house of all others for 
an inn, and my father's old friend for an inn- 
keeper! What a swaggering puppy must he 
take me for! What a silly puppy do I find 
myself! There again, may I be hanged, my 
dear, but I mistook you for the barmaid ! 

Miss Haedcastle. Dear me! dear me! 
I'm sure there's nothing in my behavior to 
put me upon a level with one of that stamp. 

Maelow. ^N'othing, my dear, nothing. 
But I was in for a list of blunders, and could 
not help making you a subscriber. My stu- 
pidity saw ever\'thing the ^vrong way. I mis- 
took your assiduity for assurance, and your 
simplicity for allurement. But it's over — this 
house I no more show my face in ! 

Miss Haedcastle. I hope, sir, I have 

Ha ! ha ! ha ! Old Mr. Hardcastle's house an inn I ' 
IZi — 152 

She Stoops to Conquer. 153 

don© nothing to disoblige you. I'm sure I 
should be sorry to affront any gentleman who 
has been so polite, and said so many civil 
things to me. I'm sure I should be sorry (pre- 
tending to cry) if he left the family upon my 
account. I'm sure I should be soriy people 
said anything amiss, since I have no fortune 
but my character. 

Marlow (aside). By heaven, she weeps. 
This is the first mark of tenderness I ever had 
from a modest woman, and it touches me. 
(To her.) Excuse me, my lovely girl, you 
are the only j^art of the family I leave with 
reluctance. But to be plain with you, the 
difference of our birth, fortune, and educa- 
tion, make an honorable connection impos- 
sible; and I can never harbor a thought of 
seducing simplicity that trusted in my honor, 
or bringing ruin upon one whose only fault 
was being too lovely. 

Miss Haedcastle (aside). Generous 
man! I now begin to admire him. (To him.) 
But I'm sure my family is as good as Miss 
Hardcastle's, and though I'm poor, that's no 

154 She Stoops to Conquer. 

great misfortune to a contented mind, and, 
until tkis moment, I never thought that it was 
bad to want fortune. 

Maklow. And why now, my pretty sim- 

Miss Hakdcastle. Because it puts me at 
a distance from one, that if I had a thousand 
pound I would give it all to. 

Maelow (aside). This simplicity be- 
witches me, so that if I stay I'm undone. I 
must make one bold effort, and leave her. 
(To lier.) Your partiality in my favor, my 
dear, touches me most sensiblv, and were I to 
live for myself alone, I could easily ^ my 
choice. But I owe too much to the opinion of 
the world, too much to the authority of a 
father, so that — I can scarcely speak it — ^it 
affects me ! Farewell ! [Exit, 

Miss Hardcastle. I never knew half his 
merit till now. He shall not go, if I have 
power or art to detain him. I'll still preserve 
the character in which I stooped to conquer, 
but will undeceive my papa, who, perhaps, 
may laugh him out of his resolution. [Exit, 

She Stoops to Conquer. 155 

Enter Toxy and ^Iiss Xevllle. 

Tony. Ay, you may steal for yourselves 
the next time. I have done my duty. She 
has got the jewels again, that's a sure thing; 
but she believes it was all a mistake of the 

Miss Xeville. But, my dear cousin, sure, 
you won't forsake us in this distress. If she 
in the least suspects that I am going off, I 
shall certainly be locked up, or sent to my 
aunt Pedigree's, which is ten times worse. 

Tony. To be sure, aunts of all kinds are 
damned bad things. But what can I do? I 
have got you a pair of horses that will fly like 
Whistlejacket, and I'm sure you can't say but 
I have courted you nicely before her face. 
Here she comes, we must court a bit or two 
more, for fear she should suspect us. 

[They retire ^ and seem to fondle. 

Enter Mrs. Haedcastle. 

Mrs. Haedcastle. AVell, I was greatly 
fluttered, to be sure. But my son tells me it 

lo6 She Stoops to Conquer. 

was all a mistake of the servants. I shan't be 
easv, however, till they are fairly married, 
and then let her keep her OAvn fortune. But 
what do I see? Fondling together, as I'm 
alive ! I never saw Tony so sprightly l^ef ore. 
Ah! have I caught you, my pretty doves? 
What, billing, exchanging stolen glances, and 
broken murmurs ! Ah ! 

ToTs^. As for murmurs, mother, we 
grumble a little now and then, to be sure. 
But there's no love lost between us. 

'Mrs. Hardcastle. A mere sprinkling, 
Tony, upon the flame, only to make it bum 

Miss Xeville. Cousin Tony promises to 
give us more of his company at home. In- 
deed, he shan't leave us any more. It won't 
leave us, cousin Tony, will It? 

Tois^Y. 0! it's a pretty creature. "No, I'd 
sooner leave my horse in a pound, than leave 
you when you smile upon one so. Your laugh 
makes you so becoming. 

Miss Xeville. Agreeable cousin! Who 
can help admiring that natural humor, that 

She Stoops to Conquer. 157 

pleasant, broad, red, thoughtless, (patting his 
cheek) ah! it's a bold face. 

'ITrs. Hakdcastle. Pretty innocence! 

Tony. I'm sure I always loved cousin 
Con's hazel eyes, and her pretty long fingers, 
that she twists this way and that, over the 
haspicholls, like a parcel of bobbins. 

'^Irs. Hardcastle. Ah, he would charm 
the bird from the tree. I was never so happy 
before. My boy takes after his father, poor 
Mr. Lumpkin, exactly. The jewels, my dear 
Con, shall be yours incontinently. You shall 
have them. Isn't he a sweet boy, my dear? 
You shall be married tomorrow, and we'll put 
off the rest of his education, like Dr. Drowsy's 
sermons, to a fitter opportunity. 

Enter Diggoey. 

DiGGORY. Where's the 'Squire? I have 
got a letter for your worship. 

Tony. Give it to my mamma. She reads 
all my letters first. 

DiGGORY. I had orders to deliver it into 
your own hands. 

158 She Stoops to Conquer. 

Tony. Who does it come from ? 

DiGGORY. Your worship mun ask that of 
the lett-er itself. 

Tony. I could wish to know, though. 
{Turning the letter, and gazing on it.) 

]\Iiss Seville (aside). Undone, undone! 
A letter to him from Hastings. I know the 
hand. If mj aunt sees it we are ruined for 
ever. I'll keep her employed a little if I can. 
{To Mes. Hakdcastle.) But I have not told 
you, madam, of my cousin's smart answer just 
noAV to ;^Ir. llarlow. "Wo so laughed — jou 
must know, madam — this way a little, for he 
must not hear us. {They confer.) 

Tony {still gazing). A damned cramp 
piece of penmanship, as ever I saw in my life. 
I can read your ]3rint-hand very w^ell. But 
here there are such handles, and shanks, and 
dashes, that one can scai'ce tell the head from 
the taiL To Anthony LiinipJcln, Esquire. 
It's very odd, I can read the outside of my let- 
ters, where my own name is, well enough. 
But when I come to open it, it's all — buzz. 
That's hard, very hard; for the inside of the 

She Stoops to Conquer. 159 

letter is always the cream of the correspond- 

[Mjbs. Haedcastle Ha! ha! ha! Very 
well, very well. And so my son was too hard 
for the philosopher! 

Miss E'eville. Yes, madam; but you 
must hear the rest, madam. A little more this 
way, or he may hear us. You'll hear how he 
puzzled him again. 

Mes. Hakdcastle. He seems strangely 
puzzled now himself, methinks. 

Tony {still gazing). A damned up and 
do^vn hand, as if it was disguised in liquor. 
(Reading.) Dear Sir. Ay, that's that. 
Then there's an 21, and a T, and an S, but 
whether the next be an izzard or an R, con- 
found me-, I cannot tell ! 

Mes. Haedcastle. ay hat's that, my dear ? 
Can I give you any assistance ? 

Miss I^eville. Pray, aunt, let me read it. 
Xobody reads a cramp hand better than I. 
{Twitching the letter from her.) Do you 
know who it is from? 

160 She Stoops to Conquer. 

Toi^Y. Can't tell, except from Dick 
Ginger the feeder. 

Ihss Seville. Ay, so it is. {Pretending 
to read.) ''Dear 'Squire, Hoping that you're 
in health, as I am at this present. The gentle- 
men of the Shake-bag club has cut the gentle- 
men of Goose^green quite out of feather. 
The odds — um — odd battle — um — long fight- 
ing — ^," here, here, it's all about cocks, and 
fighting; it's of no consequence, here, put it 
up, put it up. 

[J'hr listing the crumpled letter upon him. 

ToTs'Y. But I tell you, miss, it's of all the 
consequence in the world I I would not lose 
the rest of it for a guinea I Here, mother, do 
you make it out. Of no consequence ! 

IGiving Mrs. Haedcastle the letter. 

^Es. Haedcastle. HoVs this? (Reads.) 
"Dear 'Squire, I'm now waiting for Miss 
Xe^^.lle, with a post-chaise and pair, at the bot- 
tom of the garden, but I find my horses yet 
unable to perform the journey. I expect 
you'll assist us with a pair of fresh horses, as 
you promised. Dispatch is necessary, as the 

She StcK>ps to Conquer. 161 

hag'' (ay, the hag) ''your mother, will other- 
wise suspect us. Yours, Hastings." Grant 
me patience. I shall run distracted ! My rage 
chokes me. 

]\Iiss iSTEviLLE. I hope, madam, you'll 
suspend your resentment for a few moments, 
and not impute to me any impertinence, or 
einister design that belongs to another. 

'Mrs. Hardcastle (curtseying very low.) 
— Fine s]X)ken madam, you are most miracu- 
lously polite and engaging, and quite the very 
pink of courtesy and circumspection, madam. 
(Changing her tone.) And you, you great ill- 
fashioned oaf, with scarce sense enough to 
keep your mouth shut! TTere you too joined 
against me? But I'll defeat all your plots in 
a moment. As for you, madam, since you 
have got a pair of fresh horses ready, it would 
be cruel to disappoint them. So, if you 
please, instead of running away with your 
spark, prepare, this very moment, to run off 
with me. Your old aunt Pedigree will keep 
you secure, I'll warrant me. You too, sir, 
may mount your horse, and guard us iipoai the 

162 She Stoops to Conquer. 

way. Here, Tliomas, Roger, Diggory — I'll 
show you that I wish you better than you do 
yourselves. [^Exit. 

Miss Xeville. So now I'm completely 

Tony. Ay, that's a sure thing. 

Hiss Xeyille. T^^hat better could be ex- 
pected from being connected with such a 
stupid fool, and after all the nods and signs I 
made him ? 

ToxY. By the laws, miss, it was your own 
clevemesfi, and not my stupidity, that did your 
business. You were so nice and so busy with 
your Shake-bags and Goose-greens, that I 
thought you could never be making believe. 

Enter Hastings. 

Hastings. So, sir, I find by my servant, 
that you have shown my letter, and betrayed 
us. "Was this well done, young gentleman? 

Tony. Here's another. Ask miss there 
who betrayed you. Ecod, it was her doing, 
not mine. 

She Stoops to Conquer. 163 

Enter Maelow. 

!Maelow. So I have been finely used here 
among you. Rendered contemptible, driven 
into ill manners, despised, insulted, laughed 

ToxY. Here's another. "We shall have old 
Bedlam broke loose presently. 

Miss Xeville. And there, sir, is the 
gentleman to vrhom we all owe every obliga- 

^XLaelovt. AATiat can I say to him, a mere 
boy, an idiot whose ignorance and age are a 
protection ? 

Hastings. A poor contemptible booby, 
that would but disgrace correction. 

Miss Xeville. Yet with cunning and 
malice enough to make himself merry w^th 
all our embarrassments. 

Hastings. An insensible cub. 

I^DlElow. Eeplete with tricks and mis- 

ToisY. — Baw! damme, but Pll fight you 
both one after the other, — mth baskets. 

164 She Stoops to Conquer. 

Maelow. As for him, he's below resent- 
ment. But your conduct, Mr. Hastings, re- 
quires an explanation. You knew of my mis- 
takes, yet would not undeceive me. 

Hastings. Tortured as I am with my own 
disappointments, is this a time for explan- 
ations? It is not friendly, Mr. Marlow. 

Maelow. But, sir — 

Miss IsTeville. Mr. Marlow, we never 
kept on your mistake, till it was too late to un- 
deceive you. Be pacified. 

Enter Servant. 

Servant. My mistress desires you'll get 
ready immediately, madam. The horses are 
putting to. Your hat and things are in the 
next room. "We are to go thirty miles before 
morning. \_Exit Servant. 

Miss ISTeville. Well, well; I'll come pres- 

Marlow {to Hastings). Was it well 
done, sir, to assist in rendering me ridiculous ? 
To hang me out for the scorn of all my ac- 
quaintance? Depend upon it, sir, I shall 
expect an explanation. 

She Stoops to Conquer, 165 

Kastikgs. "Was it well done, sir, if you're 
upon tliat subject, to deliver what I entrusted 
to yourself, to the care of another, sir? 

]\Iiss Xeville. Mr. Hastings Mr. Mar- 
low Why will you increase my distress by 
this groundless dispute? I implore, I entreat 
you — 

Enter Sekvaxt. 

Sekvaxt. Your cloak, madam. My 
mistress is impatient. 

Miss Xeville. I come. Pray be pacified. 
If I leave you thus, I shall die with apprehen- 

Enter Seevaxt. 

Seevant. Your fan, muff, and gloves, 
madam. The horses are waiting. 

Miss Xeville. O, Mr. Marlow! if you 
knew what a scene of constraint and ill-nature 
lies before me, I'm sure it would convert your 
resentment into pity. 

Maelow. I'm so distracted with a variety 
of passions, that I don't know what I do. For- 
give me, madam. George, forgive me. You 

166 She Stoops to Conquer. 

know my hasty temper, and should not exas- 
perate it. 

Hastings. The torture of my situation is 
my only excuse. 

Miss Neville. "Well, my dear Hastings, if 
you have that esteem for me that I think, that 
I am sure you have, your constancy for three 
years will but increase the happiness of our 
future connection. If — - 

Mes. Haedcastle. (Within.) Miss IN"©- 
ville — Constance, why, Constance, I say ! 

Miss I^eville. I'm coming. "Well, con- 
stancy Remember, constancy is the word. 


Hastings. My heart! How can I support 
this? To be so near happiness, and such hap- 

Maelow (to Tony). You see now, young 
gentleman, the effects of your folly. What 
might be amusement to you, is here disap- 
pointment, and even distress. 

Tony (from a reverie). Ecod, I have hit 
it. It's here. Your hands. Yours and 
yours, my poor Sulky. My boots there, ho! 

She Stoops to Conquer. IGTT 

Meet me two hours hence at the bottom of the 
garden; and if you don't find Tony Lump- 
kin a more good-natur'd fellow than you 
thought for, I'll give you leave to take my 
best horse, and Bet Bouncer into the bargain ! 
Come along. My boots, ho! [Exeunt. 


163 She Stoops to Cooiquer, 


Scene. — Continues. 

Enter Hastings and Servant. 

Hastings. You saw the old lady and Miss 
!N^eville drive off, you say ? 

Servant. Yes, your honor. They went 
off in a post coach, and the young 'Squire 
went on horseback. They're thirty miles off 
by this time. 

Hastini^s Then all my hopes are over. 

Servant. Yes, sir. Old Sir Charles is 
arrived. He and the old gentleman of the 
house have been laughing at Mr. Marlow's 
mistake this half -hour. They are coming this 

Hastin'gs. Then I must not be seen. So 
now to my fruitless appointment at the bot- 
tom of the garden. This is about the time. 


Slie Stoops to Conquer. 169 

Enter Sir Charles and Hardcastle. 

Hardcastle. Ha ! ha ! ha ! The perempt- 
ory tone in which he sent forth his sublime 

Sir Charles. And the reserve with, 
which I suppose he treated all your advances. 

Hardcastle. And yet he might have 
seen something in me above a common inn- 
keeper, too. 

Sir Charles. Yes, Dick, but he mistook 
you for an uncommon innkeeper, ha ! ha ! ha ! 

Hardcastle. Well, I'm in too good 
spirits to think of anything but joy. Yes, my 
dear friend, this union of our families will 
make our personal friendships hereditary: and 
though my daughter's fortune is small — 

Sir Charles. Why, Dick, will you talk 
of fortune to me? My son is possessed of 
more than a competence already, and can 
want nothing but a good and virtuous girl to 
share his happiness and increase it. If they 
like each other, as you say they do — 

170 She Stoops to Conquer. 

Haedcastle. If, man! I tell yon they 
do like each other. My daughter as good as 
told me so. 

Sir Charles. But girls are apt to flatter 
themselves, you know. 

Hardcastle. I saw him grasp her hand 
in the warmest manner myself; and here he 
comes to put you out of your ifs, I warrant 

Enter Marlow. 

"]\'f A-R.T.OW. I comCj sir, once more, to ask 
pardon for my strange conduct. I can scarce 
reflect on my insolence without confusion. 

Hardcastle. Tut, boy, a trifle. You 
take it too gravely. An hour or two's laugh- 
ing with my daughter will set all to rights 
again. She'll never like you the worse for it. 

Marlow. Sir, I shall be always proud of 
her approbation. 

Hardcastle. Approbation is but a cold 
word, Mr. Marlow; if I am not deceived, you 
have something more than approbation there- 
abouts. You take me? 

She Stoops to Conquer. 171 

Maelow. E-eallyj sir, I have not that 

Haedcastle. Come, boy, I'm an old fel- 
low, and know what's what, as well as you that 
are younger. I know what has passed be- 
tween you ; but mum. 

!Maelow. Sure, sir, nothing has past be- 
tween us but the most profound respect on my 
side, and the most distant reserve on her's. 
You don't think, sir, that my impudence has 
been past upon all the rest of the family ! 

Hardcastle. Impudence! ISTo, I don't 
say that — Xot quite impudence — Though 
girls like to be played with, and rumpled a 
little too, sometimes. But she has told no 
tales, I assure you. 

Maklow. I never gave her the slightest 

IIardcastle. TVell, well. I like modesty 
in its place well enough. But this is over- 
acting, young gentleman. You may be open. 
Your father and I Avill like you the better 
for it. 

Maelow. May I die, if I ever — 

172 She St(x>ps to Conquer. 

Haedcastle. I tell jou, she don't dislike 
you; and as I'm sure you like her — 

]\Iaelow. Dear sir — I protest, sir — 

Haedcastle. I see no reason why you 
should not be joined as fast as the parson can 
tie you. 

Maelow. But hear me, sir — 

Haedcastle. Your father approves the 
match, I admire it, every moment's delay will 
be doing mischief, so — 

Maelow. But vrhy won't you hear me? 
By all that's just and true, I never gave Miss 
Hardcastle the slightest mark of my attach- 
ment, or even the most distant hint to suspect 
me of affection. We had but one interview, 
and that was formal, modest, and uninter- 

Haedcastle (aside). This fellow's formal 
modest impudence is beyond bearing. 

Seb Cha-eles. And you never grasped her 
hand, or made any protestations! 

Maelow. As heaven is my witness, I 
came down in obedience to your commands. 
I saw the lady without emotion, and parted 

She Stoops to Conquer. 173 

without reluctance, I hope you'll exact no 
further proofs of my duty, nor prevent me 
from leaving a house in which I suffer so 
many mortifications. lExit. 

SiE Chaeles. I'm astonished at the air of 
sincerity with which he parted. 

Haedcastle. And I'm astonished at the 
deliberate intrepidity of his assurance. 

SiE Chaeles. I dare pledge my life and 
honor upon his truth. 

Haedcastle. Here comes my daugiiter, 
and I would stake my happiness upon her 

Enter Miss Haedcastle. 

Haedcastle. Kate, come hither, child. 
Answer us sincerely, and without reserve ; has 
Mr. Marlow made you any professions of love 
and affection? 

Miss Haedcastle. The question is very 
abrupt, sir! But since you require unreserved 
sincerity, I think he has. 

Haedcastle (to Sie Charles). You see. 

Slr Chaeles. And pray, madam, have 
you and my son had more than one interview? 

174 She Stoops to Conquer. 

Miss Hardcastle. Yes, sir, several. 

Haedcastle (to Sir Charles). You see. 

Sir Charles. But did lie profess any at- 

Miss Hardcastle. A lasting one. 

Sir Charles. Did he talk of love? 

Miss Hardcastle. Much, sir. 

Sir Charles. Amazing! And all this 
formally ? 

Miss Hardcastle. Formally. 

Hardcastle. Xow, my friend, I liope 
you are satisfied. 

Sir Charles. And how did he behave 

Miss Hardcastle. As most professed ad- 
mirers do. Said some civil things of my face, 
talked much of his want of merit, and the 
greatness of mine; mentioned his heart, gave 
a short tragedy speech, and ended with pre- 
tended rapture. 

Sir Charles. Xow Vm. perfectly con- 
vinced, indeed. I know his conversation 
among women to he modest and submissive. 
This forward, canting, ranting manner by no 

She Stoops to Conquer. 175 

means describes him, and I am confident he 
never sat for the picture. 

Miss Haedcastle. Then what, sir, if I 
should convince you to your face of my sin- 
cerity? If you and my papa, in about half- 
an-hour, will place yourselves behind that 
screen, you shall hear him declare his passion 
to me in person. 

Sir Chaeles. Agreed. And if I find him 
what you describe, all my happiness in him 
must have an end. [Exit. 

Miss TTaedcastle. And if you don't find 
him what I describe — I fear my happiness 
must never have a beginning. [Exeunt, 

Scexe. Changes to the hack of the Garden, 

Enter Hastings. 

Hastings. AVhat an idiot am I, to wait 
here for a fellow, who probably takes a de- 
light in mortifj-ing me! He never intended 
to be punctual, and I'll wait no longer. "What 
do I see ? It is he, and perhaps with news of 
my Constance. 

176 She Stoops to Conquer. 

Enter Tony, hooted and spattered, 

Hastings. My honest 'Squire! I now 
find you a man of jour word. This looks like 

Tony. Ay, I'm your friend, and the best 
friend you have in the world, if you knew but 
all. This riding by night, by-the-bye, is 
cursedly tiresome. It has shook me worse 
than the basket of a stage-coach. 

Hastings. But how? Where did you 
leave yoiur fellow-travelers? Are they in 
safety ? Are they housed ? 

Tony. Five and twenty miles in two 
hours and a half is no such bad driving. The 
jDOor beasts have smoked for it: Habbit me, 
but I'd rather ride forty miles after a fox, 
than ten with such varmint. 

Hastings. Well, but where have you left 
the ladies? I die with impatience. 

Tony. Left them? Why, where should I 
leave them, but where I found them? 

Hastings. This is a riddle. 

Tony. Riddle me this, then. What's that 

She Stoops to Conquer. 177 

goes round the house, and round the house, 
and never touches the house ? 

Hastings. I'm still astray. 

ToxY. Why, that's it, mon. I have led 
them astray. By jingo, there's not a pond or 
slough within five miles of the place but they 
can tell the taste of. 

Hastings. Ha, ha, ha, I understand; you 
took them in a round, while they supposed 
themselves going forward. And so you hava 
at last brought them home again. 

ToxY. You shall hear. I first took them 
down Feather-bed-lane, where we stuck fast 
in the mud. I then rattled them crack over 
the stones of Up-and-down Hill — I then in- 
troduced them to the gibbet on Heavy-tree 
Heath, and from that, with a circumbendibus, 
I fairly lodged them in the horsepond at the 
bottom of the garden. 

Hastings. But no accident, I hope? 

Tony. Xo, no. Only mother is confound- 
edly frightened. She thinks herself forty 
miles off. She's sick of the journey, and the 
cattle can scarce crawl. So, if your o^vn 

178 She Stoops to Conquer. 

horses bo ready, you may whip off with 
cousin, and I'll be bound that no soul here can 
budge a foot to follow you. 

Hastiis'GS. l^lj dear friend, how can I be 
grateful ? 

Tony. Ay, now it's dear friend, noble 
'Squire. Just now, it was all idiot, cub, and 
run me through the guts. Damn you7' way of 
fighting, I say. After we take a knock in this 
pai-t of the country, we kiss and be friends. 
But if you had run me through the guts, then 
I should be dead, and you might go kiss the 

Hastings. The rebuke is just. But I 
must hasten to relieve lliss Xe^dlle; if you 
keep the old lady employed, I promise to take 
cai-e of the young one. [Exit Hastings. 

Tony. ^N^ever fear me. Here she comes. 
Vanish. She's got from the pond, and drag- 
gled up to the waist like a mermaid. 

E7iter Mrs. Hardcastle. 

Mrs. Hardcastle. Oh, Tony, I'm killed 
• — ^shook — battered to death! I shall never 

She Stoops to Conquer. 179 

survive it! That last jolt that laid us against 
the quickset hedge has done mj business. 

Toj^Y. Alack, mamma, it was all your 
own fault. You would be for running away 
by night, without knowing one inch of the 

Mrs. Hardcastle. I wish we were at 
home again! I never met so many accidents 
in so short a journey. Drenched in the mud, 
over-turned in a ditch, stuck fast in a slough, 
jolted to a jelly, and at last to lose our way! 
Whereabouts do you think we are, Tony ? 

Tony. By my guess we should be upon 
Crackskull Common, about forty miles from 

Mrs. Hardcastle. lud! lud! the 
most notorious spot in all the country. We 
only want a robbery to make a complete night 

Tony. Don't be afraid, mamma, don't be 
afraid. Two of the five that kept here are 
hanged, and the other three may not find us. 
Don't be afraid. Is that a man that's gallop- 

180 She Stoops to Conquer. 

ing behind us? 'No; it's only a tree. Don't 
be afraid. 

Mrs. Hardcastle. The fright will cer- 
tainly kill me. 

ToifY. Do you see anything like a black 
hat moving behind the thicket? 

Mrs. Hardcastle. death! 

Tony, ^o, it's only a cow. Don't be 
afraid, mamma, don't be afraid. 

Mrs. Hardcastle. As I'm alive, Tony, I 
see a man coming towards us. Ah! I'm sure 
on't. If he perceives us, we are undone. 

Tony (aside). Father-in-law, by all that's 
unlucky, come to take one of his night walks. 
(To her.) Ah, it's a highwayman, with 
pistols as long as my arm. A damned ill- 
looking fellow. 

Mrs. Hardcastle. Good heaven defend 
us! He approaches. 

Tony. Do you hide yourself in that 
thicket, and leave me to manage him. If 
there be any danger I'll cough and cry hem. 
"Wlien I cough be sure to keep close. 

[]\Irs. Hardcastle hides hehind a 
tree in the hack scene. 

She Stoops to Conquer. ISl 

Enter Hakdcastle. 

Hasdcastle. I'm mistaken, or I heard 
voices of people in want of help. Oh, Tony, 
is that you? I did not expect you so soon 
back. Are your mother and her charge in 

Tony. Very safe, sir, at my aunt Pedi- 
gree's. Hem. 

;Mrs. Haedcastle (from behind). — Ah! I 
find there's danger. 

Haedcastle. Forty miles in three hours; 
sure, that's too much, my youngster. 

Tony. Stout horses and willing minds 
make short journeys, as they say. Hem. 

Mes. Haedcastle (from heliind). — Sure 
he'll do the dear boy no harm. 

Haedcastle. But I heard a voice here; 
I should be glad to know from whence it 

Tony. It was I, sir, talking to myself, sir. 
I was saying that forty miles in four hours 
was very good going. Hem. Hem. As to 
be sure it was. Hem. I have got a sort of 

182 She Stoops to Conquer. 

cold by being out in the air. We'll go in if 
you please. Hem. 

Haudcastle. But if you talked to your- 
self, you did not answer yourself. I am 
certain I heard two voices, and am resolved 
(raising his voice) to find the other out 

Mrs. Hakdcastle (from lelwid). — Oh! 
he's coming to find me out. Oh ! 

ToxY. What need you go, sir, if I tell 
you? Hem. I'll lay down my life for the 
truth — hem I'll tell you all, sir. 

[Detaining him. 

Haedcastle. I tell you I will not be der 
tained. I insist on seeing. It's in vain to ex- 
pect I'll believe you. 

Mes. Haedcastle (running forward from 
behind). O lud, he'll murder my poor boy, 
my dai'ling. Here, good gentleman, whet 
your rage upon me. Take my money, my 
life, but spare that young gentleman, spare 
my child, if you have any mercy. 

Haedcastle. My mfe! as I'm a Chris- 
tian. From whence can she come, or what 
does she mean? 

She Stoops to Conquer. 183 

Mrs. Haedcastle (kneeling). Take com- 
passion on us, good Mr. Highwayman. Take 
our money, our watches, all we have, but 
spare our lives. We will never bring you to 
justice, indeed we won't, good Mr. Highway- 

Haedcastle. I believe the woman's out 
of her senses. What, Dorothy, don't you 
know 7neF 

Mrs. Haedcastle. Mr. Hardcastle, aa 
I'm ahve! My fears blinded me. But who, 
my dear, could have expected to meet you 
here, in this frightful place, so far from home. 
AVhat has brought you to follow us? 

Haedcastle. Sure, Dorothy, you have 
not lost your wits! So far from home, when 
you are within forty yards of your owti door! 
(To him.) This is one of your old tricks, you 
gi-aceless rogue, you! (To her.) Don't you 
know the gate, and the mulberry-tree; and 
don't you remember the horsepond, my dear? 

Mes. Haedcastle. Yes, I shall remem- 
ber the horsepond as long as I live; I have 
caught my death in it. {To Tony.) And is 

184 She Stoops to Conquer. 

it to you, you graceless varlet, I owe all this? 
I'll teach you to abuse your mother, I will. 

Tony. Ecod, mother, all the parish says 
you have spoiled me, and so you may take the 
fruits on't. 

Mrs. Hardoastle. I'll spoil you, I will. 
IFollows him off tJie stage. Exit. 

Hardcastle. There's morality, however, 
in his reply. \_Exit. 

Enter Hastings and Miss ITeville. 

Hastings. My dear Constance, why will 
you deliberate thus? If we delay a moment, 
all is lost for ever. Pluck up a little resolu- 
tion, and we shall soon be out of the reach of 
her malignity. 

Miss N'eville. I find it impossible. My 
spirits are so sunk with the agitations I have 
suffered, that I am unable to face any new 
danger. Two or three years' patience will at 
last crown us with happiness. 

Hastings. -Such a tedious delay is worse 
than inconstancy. Let us fly, my charmer. 
Let us date our happiness from this very mo- 

She Stoops to Conquer. 185 

ment Perish fortune! Love and content 
will increase what we possess beyond a 
monarch's revenue. Let me prevail. 

Miss ISTeville. Ko, Mr. Hastings, no. 
Prudence once more comes to my relief, and I 
will obey its dictates. In the moment of 
passion, fortune may be despised, but it ever 
produces a lasting repentance. I'm resolved 
to apply to Mr. Hardcastle's compassion and 
justice for redress. 

Hastings. But though he had the will, he 
has not the power to relieve you. 

Miss jN'eville. But he has influence, and 
upon that I am resolved to rely. 

Hastings. I have no hopes. But since 
you persist, I must reluctantly obey you. 


Scene. — Changes. 

Enter Sir Charles and Miss Hardcastle. 

Sir Charles. ^Vhat a situation am I in! 
If what you say appears, I shall then find a 
gnilty son. If what he says be true, I shall 

186 She Stoops to Conquer. 

then lose one that, of all othei-s, I most wished 
for a daughter. 

Miss Haedcastle. I am proud of your 
approbation; and, to show I merit it, if you 
place yourselves as I directed, you shall hear 
his explicit declaration. But he comes. 

SiK Charles. I'll to your father, and 
keep him to the appointment. 

\_Exit SiE Chaeles, 

Enter Marlow. 

Maelow. Though pre2>ared for setting 
out, I come once more to take leave, nor did 
I, till this moment, know the pain I feel in the 

Miss • Haedcastle {in her own natural 
manner). I believe these sufferings cannot 
be veiy gTcat, sir, w^hich you can so easily re- 
move. A day or two longer, perhaps, might 
lessen your uneasiness, by showing the little 
value of what you think pro^Der to regret. 

Maelow (aside). This girl every moment 
improves upon me. {To her.) It must not be, 
madam. I have already trifled too long with 

She Stoops to Conquer. 187 

my heart, IMj very pride begins to submit to 
my passion. The disparity of education and 
fortune, the anger of a parent, and the con- 
tempt of my equals, begin to lose their 
weight; and nothing can restore me to myself 
but this painful eltort of resolution. 

Miss Hardcastle. Then go, sir. I'll 
m-ge nothing more to detain you. Though 
my family be as good as her's you came down 
to visit, and my education, I hope, not in- 
ferior, what are these advantages without 
affluence? I must remain contented mth the 
slight approbation of imputed merit; I must 
have only the mockery of your addresses, 
while all your serious aims are fixed on 

Eiiicr Hardcastle and Sir Csarles from 
hell bid. 

Sir Charles. Here, behind this screen. 

Hardcastle. Ay, ay, make no noise. I'll 
engage my Kate covers him mth confusion 
at last. 

MARLovr. By heavens, madam, fortune 

188 bne Stoops to Conquer. 

was ever my smallest consideration. Your 
beauty at first caught my eye; for who could 
see that without emotion? But every mo- 
ment that I converse with you, steals in some 
new grace, heightens the picture, and gives it 
stronger expression. What at first seemed 
rustic plainness, now appears refined sim- 
plicity. What seemed forward assurance, now 
strikes me as the result of courageous inno- 
cence, and conscious virtue. 

Sir Charles. What can it mean? He 
amazes me! 

Hardcastle. I told you how it would be. 
Hush! " . 

Marlow. I am now determined to stay, 
madam, and I have too good an opinion of my 
father's discernment, when he sees you, to 
doubt his approbation. 

Miss Hardcastle. Xo, Mr. Marlow, I 
will not, cannot detain you. Do you think I 
could suffer a connection, in which there is 
the smallest room for repentance? Do you 
think I would take the mean advantage of a 
transient passion, to load you with confusion? 

She Stoops to Conquer. 189 

Do you think I could ever relish that happi- 
ness, which was acquired by lessening yours? 

Maklow. By all that's good, I can have 
no happiness but what's in your power to 
grant me. Xor shall I ever feel repentance, 
but in not having seen your merits before. 
I will stay, even contrary to your wishes ; and 
though you should persist to shun me, I will 
make my respectful assiduities atone for the 
levity of my past conduct. 

Miss Hardcastle. Sir, I must entreat 
you'll desist. As our acquaintance began, so 
let it end, in indifference. I might have 
given an hour or two to levity; but, seriously. 
Mr. ]\Iarlow, do you think I could ever sub- 
mit to a connection, w^here / must appear 
mercenary, and you imprudent? Do you 
think I could ever catch at the confident ad- 
dresses of a secure admirer? 

Marlow (kneeling). Does this look like 
security? Does this look like confidence? 
Xo, madam, every moment that shows me 
your merit, only serves to increase my difii- 
dence and confusion. Here let me continue — 

190 She Stoops to Conquer. 

Sir Chaeles. I can hold it no longer. 
Charles, Charles, how hast thou deceived me ! 
Is this jour indifference, your uninteresting 
conversation ? 

Haedcastle. Your cold contempt! your 
formal interview! What have you to say 

Marlow. That I'm all amazement! 
What can it mean? 

Hardcastle. It means that you can say 
and unsay things at pleasure. That you can 
address a lady in private, and deny it in pub- 
lic; that you have one story for us, and 
another for my daughter I 

Marlow. Daughter! — this lady youi 

Hardcastle. Yes, sir, my only daughter. 
Mj Kate, whose else should she be? 

Marlow. Oh, the devil! 

Miss Hardcastle. Yes, sir, that very 
identical tall squinting lady you were pleased 
to take me for. (Curtseying.) She that you 
addressed as the mild, modest, sentimental 

'Charles, Charles, how hast thou deceived me; 

She Stoops to Conquer. 193 

man of gravity, and tlie bold, forward, agree- 
able Rattle of the ladies' club: ha, ha, ha! 

Maelow. Zounds, there's no bearing this; 
it's worse than death I 

Miss Haedcastle. In which of your 
characters, sir, will you give us leave to ad- 
dress you? As the faltering gentleman, with 
looks on the ground, that speaks just to be 
heard, and hates hypocrisy: or the loud con- 
fident creature, that keeps it up with Mrs. 
Mantrap, and old Miss Biddy Buckskin, till 
three in the morning; ha, ha, ha! 

Maelow. 0, curse on my noisy head! I 
never attempted to be impudent yet, that I 
was not taken down. I must be gone. 

Haedcastle. By the hand of my body, 
but you shall not. I see it was all a mistake, 
and I am rejoiced to find it. You shall not, 
sir, I tell you. I know she'll forgive you. 
Ti^on't you forgive him, Kate ? "We'll all for- 
give you. Take courage man. 

[They retire, she tormenting him 
to the back scene. 


194 Slie Stoops to Conquer. 

Enter Mks. Haedcastle and Tony. 

Mes. Haedcastle. So, so, they're gone 
off. Let tliem go, I care not. 

Haedcastle. "WTio gone? 

Mes. Haedcastle. Mj dutiful niece and 
her gentleman, Mr. Hastings, from town — he 
who came down with our modest visitor, here. 

SiE Chaeles. Who, mj honest George 
Hastings? As worthy a fellow as lives, and 
the girl could not have made a more prudent 

Haedcastle. Then, by the hand of my 
body, I'm proud of the connection. 

Mes. Haedcastle. Well, if he has taken 
away the lady, he has not taken her fortune; 
that remains in this family to console us for 
her loss. 

Haedcastle. Sure, Dorothy, you would 
not be so mercenary? 

Mes. Haedcastle. Ay, that's my affair, 
not yours. But you know, if your son, when 
of age, refuses to marry his cousin, her whole 
fortune is then at her own disposal. 

She Stoops to Conquer. 195 

Haedcastle. Ay, but he's not of age, 
and she has not thought proper to wait for his 

Enter Hastings and Miss Xeyille. 

Mes. Haedcastle (aside). What! re- 
turned so soon ? I begin not to like it. 

Hastin'gs (to Haedcastle). For my late 
attempt to fly off with your niece, let my 
present confusion be my punishment. We 
are now come back, to appeal from your 
justice to your humanity. By her father's 
consent, I first paid her my addresses, and our 
passions were first founded in duty. 

Miss Seville. Since his death, I have 
been obliged to stoop to dissimulation to avoid 
oppression. In an hour of levity, I was ready 
even to give up my fortune to secure my 
choice. But I'm now recovered from the 
delusion, and hope from your tenderness what 
is denied me from a nearer connection. 

IIes. Haedcastle. Pshaw, pshaw! this is 
all but the whining end of a modern novel. 

196 Slie Stoops to Conquer. 

TTardcastle. Be it what it will, I'm glad 
they're come back to reclaim, their due 
Come hither, Tony, boy. Do you refuse this 
lady's hand whom I now offer you ? 

Tony, ^hat signifies my refusing? You 
know I can't refuse her till I'm of age, father. 

Hakdcastle. While I thought conceal- 
ing your age, boy, was likely to conduce to 
your improYement, I concurred with your 
mother's desire to keep it secret. But since I 
find she turns it to a wrong use, I must now 
declare, you have been of age these three 

Tony. Of age! Am I of age, father? 

Hakdcastle. AboYO three months. 

Tony. Then you'll see the first use I'll 
make of my liberty. {Taking Miss Xey- 
ille's hand,) Witness all men by these 
presents, that I, Anthony Lumpkin, Esquire, 
of BLANTK place, refuse you, Constantia ^ev- 
ille, spinster, of no place at all, for my true 
and lawful wife. So Constance jSTeville may 
marry whom she pleases, and Tony Lumpkin 
is his own man again ! 

So Constance. Neville may marry whom she pleases, and Tony Lump, 
kin is his own man again." 


She Stoops to Conquer. 199 

Sib Ohaeles. O brave 'Squire! 

Hastings. Mj wortlij friend! 

Mrs. Haedcastle. My undutiful off- 

Maelow. Joy, my dear George, I give 
you joy, sincerely. And could I prevail upon 
my little tyrant liere to be less arbitrary, I 
should be the happiest man alive, if you 
would return] me the favor. 

Hastings (to Miss Haedcastle). Come, 
madam, you are now driven to the very last 
scene of all your contrivances. I know you 
like him, I'm sure he loves you, and you must 
and shall have him. 

Haedcastle (joining their hands). And 
I say so, too. And, Mr. Marlow, if she makes 
as good a wife as she has a daughter, I don't 
believe you'll ever repent your bargain. So 
now to supper, to-morrow we shall gather all 
the poor of the parish about us, and the Mis- 
takes of the Xight shall be crowned with a 
merry morning. So, boy, take her; and as 
you have been mistaken in the mistress, my 
vdsh is, that you may never be mistaken in 
the wife. 



Well, having stooped to conquer with success. 
And gained a husband without aid from dress. 
Still as a Barmaid, I could wish it too, 
As I have conquered him, to conquer you: 
And let me say, for all your resolution. 
That pretty Barmaids have done execution. 
Our life is all a play, composed to please, 
"We have our exits and our entrances." 
The first act shows the simple country maid, 
Harmless and j-oung, of everything afraid; 
Blushes when hired, and with unmeaning action, 
I liopes as Jiow to give you satisfaction. 
Her second act displays a livelier scene, — 
Th' unblushing Barmaid of a country inn. 
Who whisks about the house, at market caters, 
Talks loud, coquets the guests, and scolds the 

Next the scene shifts to town, and there she soars, 
The chop-house toast of ogling connoisseurs. 
On 'Squires and Cits she there displays her art^ 
And on the gridiron broils her lovers' hearts — 

Epilogue. 201 

And as she smiles, her triumphs to complete. 
Even Common Councilmen forget to eat. 
The fourth act shows her wedded to the 'Squire, 
And madam now begins to hold it higher; 
Pretends to taste, at Operas cries caro, 
And quits her Xancy Daicson for Che Faro, 
Doats upon dancing, and in all her pride 
Swims round the room, the Eeinel of Cheapside: 
Ogles and leers with artificial skill, 
Till, having lost in age the power to kill, 
She sits all night at cards, and ogles at spadille. 
Such, through our lives, the eventful history — 
The fifth and last act still remains for me. 
The Barmaid now for your protection prays 
Turns female Barrister, and pleads for Bayta- 


To he spoken in the cJiaracter of Tony Lumpkin. 


"Well — now all's ended — and my comrades gone. 
Pray what becomes of mother''s nonly son? 
A hopeful blade I — in town I'll fix my station, 
And try to make a bluster in the nation. 
As for my cousin Xeville, I renounce her, 
Off — in a crack — I'll carry big- Bet Bouncer. 

Why should not I in the great world appear? 
I soon shall have a thousand pounds a year; 
No matter what a man may here inherit, 
In London — 'gad, they've some regard for spirit. 
I see the horses prancing up the streets, 
And big Bet Bouncer bobs to all she meets; 
Then hoikes to jiggs and pastimes ev'ry night — 
Not to the pla^^s — thej^ saj^ it a'n't polite, 
To Sadler's-Wells perhaps, or Operas go, 
And once by chance, to the roratorio. 
Thus here and there, for ever up and down. 
We'll set the fashions too, to half the town; 
And then at auctions — money ne'er regard, 
Buy pictures like the great, ten pounds a yard: 
Zounds, we shall make these London gentry say, 
We know what's damned genteel, as well as they. 

1 This came too late to be spoken {Goldsmith's Note).